Pancetta is the cured pork belly. Savory and sweet, pancetta is bacon’s long-lost Italian relative. The name of this seductive salami derives from “pancia”, the Italian word for belly. Pancetta can be found either rolled or flat, but in both cases, the pork belly will soak in the salt beds for two to three weeks. In addition to salt, the cure normally contains ground black pepper and a choice of spices, which vary based on region and cure master. Pancetta is generally aged for about 2 months. Unlike most American bacon, pancetta is never smoked, except in Italy’s northeastern corner, where an Austrian-imposed preference for smoked meats persists.
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