Italians Have Great Ideas
I have only been to Italy twice, both times many years ago when I was in boarding school in southern France. On a weekend pass, I went with friends just over the border to Ventimiglia where they had a wonderful covered market. We paced the aisles admiring the wide variety of goods from ripe fruits and beautiful veggies to clothing. Being 15, I was more interested in the clothes than the food. I bought a marine blue sweater that smelled of wooly comfort.
The second visit to Italy occurred during roughly the same time - my mother took me to Genoa to meet my Dad's ship for a brief weekend. At a restaurant that evening, I tried what for me seemed an incredibly exotic combination - prosciutto e melone - and learned why Italians are justly famous for their food. I had never thought of eating meat with fruit but I also have never forgotten how good it tasted.
Every summer, when the melons begin to smell ripe from a yard away, I buy one and twist a strip of prosciutto around the slices. It is the best first course or the best lunch that life offers, bar none. The sweet fruit and the salty meat love each other with a lasting passion. Some day, I hope to return to see more of Italy; Italians have such great ideas.