This is the ultimate Italian antipasto and it remains a sure-fire winner every time it is served, as long as the melon is perfectly ripe and sweet, the figs are soft and a little sticky, and the ham is freshly and expertly sliced into paper-thin sheets. This refreshing yet toothsome combination was originally discovered in Emilia-Romagna, where this dish originates. Off-season, when the melons and figs are not available, the fruit of choice would be ripe pears. Serve it with fresh, crusty bread and chilled rosé on a sunny day.
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