jamon, melon, cherry

The hotel owners were in tonight with some friends so we put together this little taste. Iberico ham, "melons under less pressure than normal"**, port and balsamic pickled cherry, whipped watermelon, mint blossom, radish green, and miel d'Acacia vin.

Simple, and can't really go wrong with a sliver of the iconic spanish ham on just about anything.

**Note, Dave Arnold dislikes the term compressed in relation to vac sealing. So what do we call it? Melons that were at some point in time under their normal atmospheric pressure? I see his reasoning, he understands the process and why call it that if it is not that at the time it is served. Do we have to call it anything? I see why chefs call it that with the action of the bag in the vac machine but how do we reverse this widely used misconception? Is there is a better way of describing it to our guests in a way they will understand.


  1. chris, the question about compression is one we are currently entertaining. to compress, to exert force and squeeze a product so that volume is lost. we are actually doing this with fruits and vegetables in the bag and even in the clarification process both squeezing in the cheesecloth and squeezin out of the bag to extrude the liquid. in the fruit case, air is pulled from the fruit cells and when the bag comes back down it compresses, well squeezes them. if liquid is in the bag, the cells act as sponges. we recently presented the technique to some australians and they noted that the fruit looked bruised, uniformly bruised but bruised none the less. so, do we call this controlled bruising?

  2. While not a cooking term, necessarily, 'imbue' would work for this process. Imbue, to saturate or impregnate with moisture, color, etc.

    When the bag compresses, it forces whatever liquid, flavor, or color you have, into the cells: i.e. champagne and pink peppercorn imbued nectarines.

  3. Thanks for the term, it could definitely work. Just have to explain it to the guests a little more than "compressed". Have to start a menu writing trend using the term so "compressed" falls to the wayside.