Made with time-honored curing and salt methods, Italian meats are treasured for their aromatic flavors and versatility with all kinds of dishes. Depending on the region where it was produced, each of the cured meats in Italy has its own special blend of herbs and spices, resulting in food with distinctive and nuanced flavor profiles.
Along with well-known varieties like pepperoni and prosciutto di Parma, Italian dried meats include a long list of premium varieties like the spicy hot Calabrese from the Calabria region of Southern Italy. Another popular Italian meat is coppa or capicola, a traditional Corsican cold cut made from the pork shoulder or neck that uses less salt than prosciutto di san Daniele. Discover the gourmet origins of bologna with mortadella. Sweet, delicate, and with just the right amount of saltiness, it makes a satisfying addition to traditional Italian sandwiches.
For cooking hearty Italian meals, guanciale is a dry cured pork meat that has a generous amount of fat. Use in risotto, stew, or pasta for a balanced amount of brininess and a hint of rosemary. There is also speck, a lightly smoked meat with a melt-in-your-mouth quality that makes an excellent addition to creamy pastas such as carbonara.
More Charcuterie Meats
Italy is not the only country to make delectable cured meats: Spain is a close second for producing some of the world’s most beloved charcuterie offerings that are served with tapas platters, pasta dishes, and more. Highlights include chorizo, a sausage with savory spices, and Iberico ham, a gourmet product that is highly sought after and must follow strict production standards in order to qualify as authentic. Serve convenient chorizo and fuet sticks on a charcuterie board alongside manchego cheese and Marcona Almonds for a classic tapas night. Supermarketitaly carries everything form whole pork legs, such as prosciutto crudo and cooked ham such as prosciutto cotto. Lardo is another popular meat that comes from pork fat and seasoned with black pepper.
Charcuterie Meat Dishes
The fundamentals of traditional cuisine, Italian meats bring the wholesome and satisfying taste of the Old World to a wide range of classic dishes. From antipasti platters and gourmet sandwiches to hearty pasta sauces and much more, Italian dried meats, when thinly sliced, add depth and complexity to simple ingredients with rich and robust flavors that really stand out. Place a few slices of your favorite varieties of cured meat along with crackers,fruit, cheeses, and nuts for a tasty antipasti that will whet your appetite.