PROSCUITTO DI PARMA: THE BUTTTERY GRANDDADDY
OF CURED HAM
I like simple sandwiches: bread, meat and not much else. Lately, I've been treating myself to a baguette stuffed with proscuitto di parma.
At $21.99 a pound (Metropolitan Market), proscuitto di parma ain't cheap, but price isn't important -- I'm talking about the buttery granddaddy of cured ham here. Besides, a quarter of a pound is $5.49 and a baguette is only 79 cents.
That's only $1.29 more expensive than the ready-made proscuitto-provolone-and-spinach sandwiches Metropolitan Market sells in its refrigerated case. (A quarter pound is enough for two sandwiches, but I like 'em fat.)
Metropolitan Market's $4.99 ready-made prosciutto sandwiches have been my default snacks for a while. But they're inconsistent: one sandwich purchased from the Proctor District store last month contained one paper-thin piece of proscuitto. Another, purchased at the Dash Point store in June, contained a piece of plastic.
At both stores, workers slather baguettes with butter to give you the impression there's more proscuitto in each sandwich. Not really so.
So, that's why I've been buying a quarter pound (or more) of proscuitto di parma, stuffing it inside a baguette and enjoying my second-favorite cured-meat sandwich in my car. (My first favorite is proscuitto di parma with fresh mozzarella and pesto from Lucca Ravioli Co. in San Francisco, but at the risk of becoming homesick, I try not to think too much about those $8.50 wonders.)
Here's the critical part: I wish Metropolitan Markets would be consistent in their slicing: At Dash Point the other day, a deli worker sliced it gossamer thin. At Proctor the week before, it was almost as thick as breakfast ham.
And, please: When I ask for a quarter pound, I want a quarter pound. At the Proctor store last week, my quarter pound of proscuitto di parma was actually one third of a pound. That cost me more and wasn't what I wanted.