Sense Memories: Prosciutto & Melon + The Pirates of Penzance

“prosciutto with melon” by Pen Waggener (CC BY 2.0)

I think everyone has had the experience of taking a bite of food that has transported them. That bite of food that takes them mind and soul back to their childhood or to a special place or to a fond memory. Food has that power. All food. Its part of its magic. I can’t eat prosciutto and melon (Recipe Card: PDF – 88kb) without thinking about The Pirates of Penzance, because my first time trying the delectable salty-sweet duo was while watching a movie adaptation of the play. I haven’t seen the movie since (about 20 years now), but I will almost universally be caught humming “Modern Major General” after eating prosciutto and melon.

Click image for printable recipe card (PDF - 88kb)
Click image for printable recipe card (PDF – 88kb)

In the spirit of food’s nostalgic powers, I thought it would be fun to periodically share those recipes that are close to my heart. In some cases, I was able to lay my hands on the very recipe. In others, I have recreated recipes that never fail to invoke warm remembrances of bygone days.

These are my memories, but I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite nostalgic dishes?

5 thoughts on “Sense Memories: Prosciutto & Melon + The Pirates of Penzance”

  1. This is a favorite of mine and is commonly found in France, Italy, Spain, and Argentina. If you want the best experience use Pata Negra – the best cured ham in the world.

  2. Mike, I couldn’t find it in St Louis but I ordered it from – it is also called Jamón Iberica (

    Perhaps these days it can be found at Trader joe’s or Whole foods? In Vienna I was able to get it easily. Becareful with imposters or substandard versions. The meat should look dark and greasy when sliced thin at room temp ( see the last pic in the wiki). The best version I had was expensive, aged 36 months, but you could taste the walnuts in the meat. Unreal!

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