04 June 2012

Antipasti di Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico & Prosciutto Crudo: A Tribute to Emilia-Romagna


The half-broken clock of the Torre dei Modenesi (Tower of Modenesi) in Finale Emilia continued to flash in my mind after learning about the earthquake that devastated the northern part of Italy. That tower had survived over 800 years of wars, storms, earthquakes and other dangers. Half the tower still stood up after the first major earthquake but now, it was reduced to a rubble after a strong tremor hit the area again. 


Photo by Roberto Serra taken from The Atlantic (theatlantic.com). 
That was the 20th of May 2012.  It is now the 4th of June, half past midnight and the news just relayed another 5.1 tremor in the area a few hours ago. Two weeks of frequent tremors left some important and hundreds of years old churches, fortresses and towers in serious damages and some ending up as rubble on the ground. 


That is just the cultural damage. The deepest scar it left is the psychological effect on the people who lost everything and are now just passing the days in makeshift tents provided by the state. Twenty four lives taken and more than 15,000 homeless. The ground still shakes and no one knows when it will end.  But everyone is working to save what can be salvaged and build the cities again. If there is desperation, there is a spark of light somewhere that will lead the way to go through these dark days.


Its gastronomic industry also suffered major damages. This region produces most of Italy's important gastronomic pride. Parmigiano Reggiano, aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar), prosciutto crudo di Parma, Lambrusco, Grana Padano, to name a few of the region's important products. 


There's a big feeling of loss dampening the spirits of everyone, us included. With the ongoing economic struggles of the country, a major damage like this in an important income generating part of the country burdens the situation more. But this is reality.  Unfortunately.


It had been declared by the state that the 4th of June will be the National Day of Mourning in honor of the victims of the earthquake. All Italian and European flags in public buildings will be flown at half-mast and a minute of silence will be observed.


On this important day in Italy, I would like to pay my tribute to Emilia-Romagna with these very simple antipasti I prepared using the region's three important products and my personal favorites.  Parmigiano Reggiano, aceto balsamico and prosciutto crudo di Parma.

I found this site,  The Atlantic, useful for pictures of the earthquake and it is also where I got the picture of the half-face clock.  

This article  in New York Times had been very helpful in understanding the extent of the damages. 

If you want to know about the damages that the production of parmigiano reggiano has suffered, refer to their official site.

If you would like to donate, please refer to the site of the Italian Red Cross.

Thank you and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. 




Antipasti di Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico & Prosciutto Crudo di Parma


Ingredients:
  • Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) wedges
  • Balsamic vinegar (the older the better)
  • prosciutto crudo di Parma (Parma ham), slices
  • Melon, wedges
  • Strawberries 
Directions:
  1. Drizzle the Parmigiano wedges with balsamic vinegar.  
  2. Drizzle the strawberries with balsamic vinegar.
  3. Put together the prosciutto crudo and the melon wedges.
  4. Serve them in three separate bowls or plates. 





38 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos, love this simple yet lovely appetizer. You really know how to make people drool on the computer while view your food :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a tragedy for Italy - my heart goes out to everyone that lost family or their homes in the earthquake. I read about the immense destruction of Parmigiano reggiano and I know that loss is also a tragedy for Italians.

    As for your antipasti platter, what a perfect way to honor Emilia-Romagna with a trio of flavors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a big tragedy really and we just keep on wishing that the tremors would stop. The ground is still shaking there and an important tower just went down again. What a loss! It's the least I can do. It is such a wonderful region!

      Delete
  3. A beautiful and fitting tribute, Rowena. Thank you so much - my thoughts are with the lovely people of Emilia-Romagna.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will be thinking of all the victims from the disaster on this day. I feel like my heart almost stops whenever I hear about earthquakes and all the victims & damages. It's so sad that historic buildings no longer exist and people lost their lives from natural disaster. Japan still gets earthquakes often and it's my constant worry (as experts says there will be a big one coming to Tokyo area in 2 years). Life goes on but we always need to remember about it. Very nice tribute Weng!

    I love your antipasti and how gorgeous you plated them! I have the exact same tooth pick thing (how do you call them?), too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I still remember the big earthquake & tsunami that hit Japan last year Nami. It wrenched our hearts. Anything like hits us badly even if we are far from it. I hope what the experts say is not true about the coming earthquake in Tokyo. We don't need another one!
      They are called food picks or however you want to call them. :-) Thanks Nami!

      Delete
  5. I'm so sorry to hear about the earthquake and destruction. The photo of the clock makes my so sad, as you said it is a damaging and a cultural loss. Keeping all the victims in my thoughts. Your tribute is delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, that clock is totally gone now. Thanks for the nice note!

      Delete
  6. I am so sorry the country is dealing with such sadness, chaos, and loss. So many beautiful elements of Italy will have to salvaged and the people will need spirit and hope to continue on with getting back to a stable setting. What a sweet tribute highlighting the foods and ingredients from that part of the country and letting them shine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There really are so many pieces to pick up but the tremors just won't stop. I've heard that the people in that region are strong and survivors. They will be able to get back on their feet soon.

      Delete
  7. Love your photos! They're so vibrant and beautiful. I really feel for all the earthquake victims, there's been so many earthquakes in recent years that have caused so many victims...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm sorry to read about the damage from the earthquake, we live in an earthquake region as well and my heart goes out to all the victims of this disaster. You've shared a lovely post celebrating the culinary heritage of this hard hit area.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My heart goes out to you and those effected by the earthquakes - what a wonderful tribute to the area and people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, we live far from the earthquake but thank you!

      Delete
  10. Thank you for the simple, yet touching way you demonstrated your affection to my Country. I live near Emilia Romagna and I can tell it's not a nice time for us. Your photos though lifted my heart! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you and your family are ok. I'm glad that I lifted someone's heart with this one. Thanks!

      Delete
  11. It's so awesome of you to raise awareness about this part of Italy through your food post! It's a wonderful thing! Because if not for you, I wouldn't know what had happened! Hope the healing and rebuilding start soon and start well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it finishes soon too because it's tragic to see buildings and monuments going down one after the other.

      Delete
  12. I was just reading the same article on the NYT. I have long wanted to visit the Emilia-Romagna region but could never fit it into our itinerary. So devastating for that region in so many ways. Very nice tribute, Rowena.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was able to go go around Emilia-Romagna years ago but just the major towns. I don't remember anymore everything because I wasn't a photo fanatic at that time yet so I didn't have so many pictures and they were still in the analogue days. Sigh. The next generations will not see them anymore. Thanks Jean.

      Delete
  13. Yes, it is very devastating and it is tragic...hopefully people will come together and work as one so Northern Italy can shine again and get beck on their feet even though some things are irreplaceable.
    Great tribute, Rowena. Very sad photographs of the distraction...but your tribute made me smile with all your beautiful and colorful presentation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are already starting to stand up on their feet there and this tragedy unites everyone in putting up the region again. There are just so many losses. It's so sad. Thanks Sandra.

      Delete
  14. What a beautiful tribute. It's such a tragedy and my heart goes out to Italy. I hope that the tremors stop immediately and I wish the best for the people. It's so terrible. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a tragedy and it makes us sad to see the damages and the condition of the area. I hope too that the tremors would stop.

      Delete
  15. Such a tragedy in what is such an incredibly historic and gorgeous part of the world. I've always wanted to visit this area! What a beautiful tribute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will take time to rebuild and some are lost forever. Thanks.

      Delete
  16. What a lovely tribute to the folks of that region! Prayers and positive thoughts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. Living in California, we are threatened by earthquakes and the dread the day the "big" one hits. Love the anitpasti treat you prepared!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, I hope the big one never hits. Thanks Lisa!

      Delete
  17. Your heartfelt words and simple antipasti of the regional foods is a lovely tribute, Rowena. I hope the tremors stop soon - the devastation to the people, culture, and historical monuments is heart wrenching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the tremors stop soon too. It's heart wrenching to see the news everyday.

      Delete
  18. A sad story and your tribute is touching. Sending prayers to everyone in the region. Hopefully soon the northern part will flourish again.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was so sorry to hear about this tragedy, earthquakes leave such destruction. I know it takes time to heal, and then rebuild, my heart goes out to all.
    Both your tribute and appetizer are lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alisha. It's true that it takes time to rebuild but I think the people from that region are strong people who will stand up fast and get back on their feet again.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I would love to know what you think!