February 10, 2021

I lately joined the Icons of European Taste Campaign, a promotional marketing campaign funded by the European Union to have a good time the legendary high quality, custom, and style of particular Italian merchandise. I’ve stored an Italian kitchen for most of my married life, which is rapidly closing in on fifty years. I’ve additionally had the chance to reside in Italy, each full and part-time, for a few years. My years dwelling in Italy launched me to its excellent delicacies, which I rapidly adopted in my own residence. The essence of Italian cooking as we speak is simplicity. One makes use of high quality substances and primary cooking methods to easily improve the pure taste of the meals. Through the years, exploring Italy’s many distinctive areas finally led to my meals weblog’s creation nearly twenty years in the past.

Most of our journeys exploring Italy revolve round meals, and a few of our most gratifying experiences contain visiting farms and small factories the place well-known Italian substances originate. Nothing offers you a greater appreciation for an artisanal ingredient than to observe it being made step-by-step and to grasp the strict insurance policies governing its manufacturing. The 2 artisanal substances I used to be given to characteristic are Grana Padano cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele. Each of these substances are world-renowned and are prevalent in lots of Italian kitchens. I exploit each substances frequently in my very own kitchen in lots of of the dishes I put together for household and mates. You will need to notice that Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele are Protected Designation of Origin Merchandise, a designation given by the EU to merchandise with distinctive traits and heritage and solely produced inside particular areas and beneath strict high quality and manufacturing pointers.

Grana Padano Cheese – Grana Padano is a tough, Italian cheese made in Northern Italy, with a heritage courting again nearly a thousand years outdated, when monks discovered an ingenious strategy to protect the excess milk they produced by making a cheese that might stand up to the check of time. Grana Padano is the world’s best-selling PDO cheese and is all the time recognized by its full title; “Grana” on account of its texture, “grana” means “grainy” in Italian, and “Padano” from the manufacturing space within the “Pianura Padana,” which is the Po River Valley in northern Italy. The PDO designation signifies that it’s solely produced on this explicit area in Northern Italy beneath strict pointers.

It takes 15 liters of naturally semi-skimmed milk from the Po River Valley manufacturing space to provide a kilo of Grana Padano. Lactose-free on account of its lengthy ageing and manufacturing methodology, this distinctive cheese has wonderful dietary qualities and a excessive focus of nutritional vitamins, proteins, and minerals, particularly calcium. As soon as matured for 9 months, all Grana Padano wheels are examined, and in the event that they go the standard checks, they’re fire-branded with a mark that ensures the standard. It may possibly then be bought instantly or aged for even over twenty months. When shopping for Grana Padano within the retailer, all the time look for the particular branding on the rind to make sure you are shopping for Italy’s actual product. Grana Padano is a superb cheese for snacking on, as a component of a cheese choice, and can be used grated on pasta or soups. Grana Padano is greatest saved in a fridge stored at temperatures round 4° C (39° F), wrapped in good high quality cling-free plastic wrap or freezer baggage to forestall drying. It’s best to not retailer alongside different strong-flavored cheeses as this will compromise its taste integrity.

Prosciutto di San Daniele – In Italy, many various prosciutto varieties range from area to area, however one of essentially the most prestigious varieties is Prosciutto di San Daniele. Prosciutto di San Daniele is constituted of two substances: high-quality pork legs and sea salt. This explicit artisanal prosciutto crudo is produced from begin to end in San Daniele, a small village in Italy’s northern area of Friuli Venezia Giulia, close to Venice. The mix of air from the mountains and the Adriatic Sea makes the San Daniele space the proper place to age prosciutto. Following the strict authorized pointers, a pork thigh can solely be deemed Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP if three circumstances are met. First, the pigs have to be raised in just one of ten particular areas of central-north Italy. The pigs should even be raised in a particular conventional method. Second, the producers should observe strict product specs. And lastly, the ageing of the prosciutto should happen in San Daniele.

One distinctive facet within the manufacturing of Prosciutto di San Daniele is the urgent stage. The legs are first salted after which pressed for two to 3 days. This permits the salt to penetrate the meat extra deeply, giving it extra taste. It additionally offers Prosciutto di San Daniele its signature guitar form. As soon as the leg has met all of the strict circumstances and has been aged 13 months, it’s branded on the rind with the particular producer’s mark.

Prosciutto di San Daniele has a really balanced, explicit candy taste. In america, San Daniele is most frequently thinly sliced by a machine, however it’s scrumptious sliced by hand if you could find it reduce this manner. We often purchase an entire prosciutto leg and maintain it wrapped to take pleasure in sliced day by day. Complete prosciutto have to be held in a cool, dry place. As soon as reduce, the uncovered space must be lined with plastic wrap, and the leg must be refrigerated. If shopping for slices reduce on the deli counter, the prosciutto is greatest loved inside twelve hours. If you are going to buy vacuum packed slices, check with the sell-by date, and wrap fastidiously in plastic wrap and retailer within the fridge. San Daniele is greatest eaten as is, instantly after slicing. It will also be paired with mozzarella di bufala or some melon slices for a snack or as an appetizer. One other scrumptious strategy to eat prosciutto is in a panino.

Flatbread with Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele – Whereas dwelling in Milano, we regularly frequented a neighborhood pizzeria. Their specialty pizza was a pizza Bianca  (plain pizza with out tomato sauce), topped with arugula, tomatoes, skinny slices of prosciutto, and Grana Padano shavings on prime. I’ve made a flatbread model of this pizza for a few years that we take pleasure in for lunch or an appetizer when entertaining. You possibly can drizzle some spicy olive oil or just an excellent high quality further virgin olive oil on prime with a rough sea salt sprinkling. You should buy ready pizza dough at your native grocery retailer to make issues straightforward or use one of my pizza dough recipes. The distinction between a pizza and flatbread is the thickness. I exploit a rolling pin when making my flatbread to get a skinny crust. Since you are utilizing top of the range Grana Padano cheese and San Daniele prosciutto, do select peppery, child arugula, and ripe, flavorful tomatoes. The spicy arugula enhances the buttery candy prosciutto and barely nutty taste of the Grana Padano.

I’ve completely loved engaged on this Icons of European Taste Campaign, studying extra about Grana Padano cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele, two of my favourite Italian substances utilized in my kitchen for years. I hope you get your hands on each of these substances to strive them your self, as I do know that you’ll love them as a lot as I do!

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2021


  • 1 (1 Pound) Ball Pizza Dough (See Notes Above) At Room Temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • Three Cups Sliced Ripe Tomato
  • Four Cups Child Arugula
  • eight Skinny Slices Prosciutto di San Daniele
  • 1 half of Cups Thinly Sliced Grana Padano Cheese

Topping: (Non-obligatory)

  • Further Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coarse Sea Salt


    1. Preheat oven to 425 levels F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. Divide the dough in half and utilizing a rolling pin on a frivolously floured counter, roll every half of the dough into an oval form about 1/3 of an inch thick.
    3. Gently place every rolled piece of dough on the ready baking sheets and brush with olive oil.
    4. Sprinkle with oregano after which use the tines of a fork to prick the dough evenly excessive.
    5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or till golden brown and puffy in spots.
    6. Instantly prepare the tomatoes, then the arugula on prime.
    7. Drape the prosciutto over the arugula after which prepare the cheese shavings on prime.
    8. Drizzle with further virgin olive oil and salt, reduce into eight items, serve and revel in!

Vitamin Info:

Yield: 4

Serving Dimension: 1

Quantity Per Serving:

Energy: 542Whole Fats: 42gSaturated Fats: 12gTrans Fats: 0gUnsaturated Fats: 27gLdl cholesterol: 75mgSodium: 2046mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 27g

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