Melon and ham

melon & ham5

Photography by Annie Peel

Why does this dish work so well? There must be some sort of chemistry, Bogey/Bacall stylee, going on.

Melons are odd, it can’t be denied. How do they manage do hold so much liquid beneath a baking sun in such arid lands? Try and do anything with it but eat it raw and it will almost invariably end in unpleasantness. Add it to a smoothie and you’ve ruined it.

melon & ham6

Photography by Annie Peel

It took me decades to be able to swallow it without gagging (squeeze me?) and then even longer still to try it with ham. But one day I did and then BAM!!!!!!!!

The sweetness of the melon against the ham needs to be tasted to be believed. The ham I ate it with wasn’t even all that nice but still it shone. I have since hunted out the best melons this lavish island has to offer and eaten them with Spain’s insurpassable Jabugo.

melon & ham2

Photography by Annie Peel

It makes me think of other great culinary combos – basil and tomatoes, eggs and bacon, gin and tonic, but the one it most reminds me of for just plain weirdness is endive and roquefort. Superb. Your teeth sink though the creamy blue cheese and then into the crisp, cold leaf. This alone works well but when you add the acridness from the blue veins with the bitterness of the endive it takes it to another level. You gotta love the lord, that shit shouldn’t work but it does.

Melon and ham recipe

Ingredients

  • A really good Ibiza piel de sapo (toad skin) melon.
  • Jabugo ham

Method

  • Cut it up and lay the ham across it.
  • Think – Seventies restaurant with red velvet boothes and obsequious waiters.
  • Think – Gin and Jags
  • Then swallow.