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Burning Question: How Does Pancetta Differ From Prosciutto?

Aïda Mollenkamp prefers it to prosciutto, and we enjoy it wrapped around peaches. But what exactly is pancetta?

Referred to as "Italian bacon," pancetta is an Italian charcuterie selection made from salt-cured, aged pork belly. It is not smoked like American bacon, so it has a mellower flavor and higher amount of moisture.

Unlike prosciutto — cured, Italian ham that is made from the hind leg of the pig and is often served thinly sliced and uncooked — pancetta is made from pig's belly, so it is higher in fat content. It is often cooked so its fat can be rendered to add depth to sauces, pastas, roasts, and sautés.

There are many gourmet varieties of pancetta (you can even make it yourself) but don't look for any Italian versions. They are banned from being imported into the United States. Which do you prefer? Pancetta or prosciutto?


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sofi sofi 8 years
lol- I was looking up the difference about two weeks ago (I mistakenly picked up pancetta instead of prosciutto). Not quite interchangeable but I like both. I used my pancetta in a spaghetti carbonara- yummy!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I'm sure I'd love it if I tried it. I absolutely adore prosciutto.
cassedy04 cassedy04 8 years
why is pancetta banned from being imported to the US?
erinflower erinflower 8 years
I love both for different things, If I really have to choose though I would choose prosciutto with some smoked greyer cheese.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 8 years
I love both, too. Though I always get compliments when I make finger foods in Pancetta cups.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I love both kinds :drool:
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
my family keeps kosher so i've never actually had either, and as a result, didn't really know the difference between the two. i think that this is really good information and i love knowing new things. it's probably going to be helpful for me at some point since my fiance's family does eat pork, and now i can look more knowledgeable.
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