Italy is famous for many things, contributing at large to the well-loved dishes such as pizza and pasta, in the world today. However, their most important contribution has got to be the cured Italian meats. Without them, our pizzas would just be a pool of orange grease, our charcuterie boards would be so very boring and most of all, Oscar Mayer would be nothing, without his famous Bologna!
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Pizza would be a much healthier dish if it wasn’t for pepperoni, but that’s no fun and not as tasty, so thank you pepperoni! Although people usually don’t know exactly what it is made of (either cured beef or pork in a slice), everyone can agree that its overpowering taste and greasiness is why it is one of Italy’s greatest contributions to the world’s love of pizza.
Much like its name, Lardo is cured back fat. It is very similar to bacon, except without all the meat… It’s addictive rosemary flavor will have you hooked on it!
If you want to be traditional, you might want to call it Salumi instead. Now, despite all the variety that there is to choose from, you will have to agree that Salami alone is a delicacy. It’s delicious on a cheese plate, sandwiches or even on its own. Salami was once a peasant’s simple storec upboard staple, but now it is a staple of the world’s finest wine bars. The point is, whether it is being cut off a basic stick, or coming from one of Oscar Mayer’s finely vacuum-sealed packages, you’ll never be disappointed.
Mortadella is perhaps one of Italy’s finest contributions to cold cuts. The world without mortadella is not the world anyone would want to live in. Its perfect blend of pork, nuts, spices and other delicious ingredients make it very much like and Italian version of bologna.
This delicious, ultra-fatty salumi is made from the meat surrounding a pig’s shoulder or neck. Given where the meat is from, it gives the flavor a salty one, along with the greasy strips of fat. It is a very popular cured meat on charcuterie plates all over, along with it being a staple to the deli-style Italian sandwiches.
Making more use of prime cuts than a sandwich-style salami, this dry sausage, melts in your mouth with its overload of fat chunks. Not only is it mouthwatering, it leaves your tongue coated in delicious spices. This cured meat just overpowers the senses with its rich flavor.
This Italian meat is leaner than pretty much all of them. Although it can look quite like a Tootsie Roll, it tastes quite the opposite. Its taste is similar to dried salted steak and can actually be served up with a meal.. a very filling meal!
Referring to Culatello as “Italian Ham” does not do it justice at all. Culatello is perfection and also quite a rare Italian cured meat to find because it was banned from importation due to it being aged in a bladder. However, just recently, the ban was lifted, so it should be gracing our hungry tummies soon enough!
This delicious combination of roasted and cured pig is what makes up Porchetta. You could compare this beautiful, Italian cured meat to an all-meat burrito, the skin being the outer shell, pork belly, and loin as the filling, with the garlic and spices acting as the salsa. Unlike most cured meats, Porchetta hasn’t been cured all the way through, so it doesn’t have a very long expiry date, which means you have to eat it fast.
Pancetta is Italy’s version of bacon. This salty chunk of pork fat will have your mouth-watering. Even though it is cured and not smoked, it is just as delicious whether it is served in cutlets or is thinly sliced.
This amazing piece of meat takes the throne with its abilities to make even vegetables delicious when wrapped around them, and to make pizza even tastier (who thought that was possible?!) If you really want to devour some glorious pork, Prosciutto is where it at! the tasty, salty, paper-thin pieces will leave you dying for more.