What you’re looking at is Parma ham – prosciutto di Parma – and you simply can not drive to this part of Italy without tasting the best that the city has to offer. Certainly it’s possible to buy pre-sliced and under wrap at the supermarket for much less, but aged prosciutto, like that above, is an experience in taste that only food gurus will know how to appreciate. Silky, salty and sweet all combined in one bite. A flavor made even more intense from all that time hanging around in a dark cellar.
We had this at a recent dinner at I Tri Siochètt, a family-style osteria just outside of Parma. This place is mentioned in several food guides, Michelin among them, but I’m choosing not to give a full opinion because of one dish that failed to deliver. It was the fresh tagliatelle with rabbit ragu and black truffles. Whether the truffles were meant to be an infused oil or as minuscle black specks, the truth remained to be seen. There was no hint, sign, or sniff of tartufo nero anything in that dish, leading me to believe that somebody fell asleep in the kitchen. That can only mean one thing – I have to make this dish as soon as I can find black truffles.