Godfathers of the store-cupboard

June 17, 2006

Parmesan and pancetta

Originally uploaded by tostadora.

A small wedge of fine, crumbly parmesan cheese. A dense block of salty pancetta. They look good together. Taste pretty good, too. A classic Italian double-act – the DeNiro and Scorcese of the food world.

Sure, you can live without them but the whole world seems brighter and more colourful when you know you’re sorted for P&P.

When feeling flush we get our parmesan from Melbury and Appleton on Muswell Hill Broadway. It almost crumbles to the touch, just as it should. The stuff from Sainsbury’s is often a bit solid and waxy – I think that’s a sign it hasn’t matured long enough.

Got a 2-inch wide slice of pancetta from the same place last weekend. We hacked off the odd chunk through the week to make: a tomato, rosemary and pancetta pasta sauce; a minestrone soup; a puy lentil salad. It added a warm salty smokiness to all these dishes. And a nice meaty chewiness which is much appreciated. Not organic though = slap wrist =

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