We’ve practically force-fed you gift ideas this year (including this and this), but if you haven’t gotten off the couch you’re pretty much S.O.L. Unless, that is, the one you love would rather get a hunk of expensive meat than a chunk of pricey jewels.
A perfect leg of Prosciutto de Parma is as elusive as a colorless, inclusion-free, diamond. It’s a present that’s part cooking project, part status symbol — think of all of the admiration you’ll get from the co-workers when you tell them you schlepped a leg of ham around Manhattan. Wrap it in a fancy gift box. Present it with a morsa (that fancy contraption you strap the leg into for easy slicing) or pick up a Berkel slicer if you have an extra $15,000+ left over in your gift budget.
But why specifically prosciutto from Parma? Well, because it’s like the cadillac of Italian cured hams. It is mildly sweet, is lip-smackingly salty, and has clean-tasting ribbons of fat. It’s best on its own, or paired with fruit. Stocking stuffer!
A call into Dean & Deluca Soho confirms that they have a few on hand, should you feel brave enough to battle the Broadway swarms. Faicco Pork Store on Bleecker Street is also stocking legs and look no further than your local Fairway market to grab a hock.
While this may be the perfect Christmas gift, we’d advise against gifting it for Hanukkah or bringing it to your Jewish in-laws’ house because of, you know, the whole kosher-no-pork thing.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 23, 2011