What Is Pancetta? If you’ve never heard of it before or are unsure what it is or how to use it, this article is for you! Learn about this delicious pork meat called Pancetta, what it is, how it is made, its taste and a few ideas on how to use it.
What Is Pancetta?
Pancetta is a type of pork meat, that is often called Italian bacon. This type of meat comes from a pig’s belly meat. It is similar to bacon and prosciutto, but is slightly different.
Pancetta can often be found rolled also known as rotolata. When it comes rolled, this is so that the fat and muscle are rolled up together, and wrap around each other. Rolled pancetta is usually cut into extremely thin slices and then fried.
Italian bacon can also be made into a slab or stesa. When obtained in a slab, you will find that the meat has mostly fat on one side and muscle on the other. Slab pancetta is typically diced or chopped into very small pieces before being cooked into a dish. These small pieces are often found in soups or pastas and help create a depth of flavor in any dish.
How It Is Made
Simply by looking at this meat you might confuse it with bacon, however the process of how it is made is different from American bacon. Bacon as we know it here in the United States is often smoked, packaged and then we fry it. Pancetta on the other hand is not smoked. Instead, it is cured in salt and other spices including nutmeg, pepper and fennel along with others. After it is cured, it is then dried for several months before making its way to your local grocery store.
Pancetta has a distinctive pork taste, but lacks the smokiness of bacon. By adding pancetta to any dish, it will contribute a lovely pork flavor that will enhance your dish. Pancetta is also a commonly substituted for guanciale. Guanciale is another form of cured pork, but this type of meat comes from pork cheek instead of its belly.
Pancetta is a delicious type of cured pork belly meat. It is common in Italy and is often referred to as Italian bacon. While it looks a lot like American bacon it is not smoked, but instead salt cured. It is delicious and can be added to any dish to enhance its delicious flavors.
What is your favorite way to incorporate pancetta in your kitchen?
Try this amazing recipe for Braised Balsamic Radicchio. Have you ever wondered if fresh artichoke hearts were worth all the trouble, or if there was a better alternative? Check out Fresh Artichoke Hearts: Worth The Trouble to get a few substitute ideas.