Sometimes lack of time dictates as easy a dessert as possible. Fruit salad is always popular, but still takes time and patience. A bowl of fruit - or even one fruit selected for its perfection - never disappoints. The combination of panforte and Reggiano Parmesan is a lovely and unusual alternative.
Panforte is available from Italian delis in both black and white varieties. It is a rich hard compressed flat cake from Sienna, full of nuts and honey and with a spicing reminiscent of incense. It was first made around the twelfth century and in its flavours one can taste history, for it is made to precisely the same recipe today as it was then.
A small wedge of panforte and a chunk of Parmesan make the perfect end to any meal, particularly with a glass of tawny port or Vin Santo. A good farmhouse Cheddar also goes well with panforte.
© 1993 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.