Simple. Delicious. Old school antipasto. Get a big chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and break it into bite-size chunks and serve with paper thin prosciutto di parma ham. There is a big difference, especially in Italy, between plain parmesan cheese and parmesan reggiano cheese, namely the specific areas of production, what the cattle eats, the length of aging and many other factors. The ‘reggiano’ distinction just means it’s better quality than regular parmesan.
We lived all over but it was when we ere in or near Boston we would have access to the best Italian cheeses and meats. When I was going to school in Hampton, NH, I had an after-school job at DeMoulas Supermarket, a huge chain owned by a Greek my grandfather knew from the old country and my father went to school with one of the company’s Senior Vice President, who he grew up with in Medford, MA. Long story short, I got promoted to a manager my second week there and learned the grocery business over the years and saw local markets like DeMoulas evolve from basic groceries to more gourmet selections.
- Freshly-crumbled chunks of parmesan reggiano cheese. It lasts a while, so if you’re entertaining a lot, buy big chunks and store tightly wrapped to protect from the air.
- 1/2 pound of thinly slices prosciutto di parma ham. Make sure they layer the slices next to each other and separate each row with deli paper. If not, you will end up with a ball of sliced meat clinging together.
- You can also serve with a small ramekin of aged balsamic vinegar to dip the cheese in for added flavor.
Display the items on a cutting board and watch them disappear.