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Difference Between Bacon and Pancetta

Bacon vs Pancetta

In many cultures, meat from pig is a great source of food and pork is the generic name for pig meat. For those who do not consume pork frequently, or are from a part of the world where pig meat is eaten less frequently remain confused between names that are given to various cuts of pork. Bacon is the meat from one part of the animal that is most popular in all parts of the world. Pancetta is also meat from pig, and is a common name in Italy. However, despite being called Italian bacon, there are some differences that will be talked about in this article.

Bacon and pancetta are pork products that look similar, also have a similar taste. No wonder then that there are people in Italy that use these words interchangeably. However, both have distinct features and differences in the way they are prepared justifying different names. If you take a closer look at the pieces of bacon and pancetta, you will realize that they come from the belly of the animal. Similarities do not end here as both pancettas as well as bacon gets cured for a long time period. They are not dishes or recipes, mind you, and need to be cooked by baking, steaming or grilling before they can be eaten.

It is the curing process that makes all the difference between bacon and pancetta. Pancetta is never smoked, though used much the same way as bacon, mostly as a flavor additive in soups and sauces. Pancetta making is done in two main ways where it is used as a slab or as rolled type, though there are many regional variations. Pancetta is mainly used as a garnish. This may be due to the fact that it is expensive, or because it is not appropriate to cook. Though pancetta is cured with salt and pepper, it is never smoked. It is sold as rolled up in the shape of sausages.

What is the difference between Bacon and Pancetta?

• There is not much of a difference between bacon and pancetta, which is also referred to as Italian bacon

• Though both come from the belly of pig and both are cured with salt and pepper for a long time, bacon is smoked, but pancetta is never smoked

• In Italy, pancetta comes strictly from the belly of the anima,l while in America, bacon comes from both belly as well as sides.

• Not being smoked makes pancetta moister. It also has a milder flavor than bacon.


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