Fresh pancetta, or pork side, is just that, the side of the pig, with rind and alternating lines of fat and lean meat. Depending upon the pig, the proportions of fat to lean meat can vary from 50-50 to almost entirely fat. You can use pork side to make pancetta
at home, but it also has other uses: It's perfect for lardoning drier meats to keep them from drying out as they cook (you slip long thin sticks of lard into cuts in the meat, and the technique is especially important when roasting). Or you can grill pancetta
, for example using the mixture of herbs Dario Cecchini employed in a TV demonstration a few years ago.
How to make Pancetta
A general overview of salumi, Italian cold cuts.
Affettati Misti, a mixed cold cut antipasto