Italians tend to take their food very seriously and the city of Parma is associated with two of Italy’s most famous food products: cheese – Parmigiano Reggiano, and ham – Prosciutto di Parma. The Parma Ham Consortium (Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma) is the organisation that promotes the renowned ham around the world and safeguards its quality. We were invited by the Consortium to MacFarlane’s deli in Abbeville Road, Clapham to taste some delicious canapés to celebrate MacFarlane’s winning the Parma Ham Specialist Award.
MacFarlane’s is the neighbourhood deli that you would want in your local shops – it has a great range of food and wine from around the world and from the UK . Lovely canapés made with Parma ham were served along with another Italian favourite, Prosecco, which ensured the conversation flowed too. I got chatting to owner Robert Marsham – he told me he loved the area and the local community and was very proud of the business he and his staff had built up over nearly twenty years based on quality and service.
On a more serious note, I asked him about the issue that every small trader in London is worried about right now – the increase in the business rates, a tax which most experts believe is outdated and unfair. As yet, the new bills have yet to hit the mat but it seems, from what has been all over the media in recent weeks, that London is going to be hit very hard.
Let’s hope that there will always be a place in London for our small neighbourhood shops and independent traders. Shops like MacFarlane’s and high streets like Abbeville Road, Clapham are some of the things that make London such a great place to live. As for Parma Ham, it’s always been one of my favourites and you can check out some great serving suggestions and recipes on their website.
MacFarlane’s 48 Abbeville Rd Clapham SW4 9NF