Pancetta: What is Pancetta and how do you cook it?

PancettaMarvin e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that he had enjoyed scallops with pancetta at a restaurant and wondered what pancetta is, how you cook it, and where to buy it. Although pancetta is often called Italian bacon, it is somewhat different from American bacon in that it is made only from pork belly and is cured with salt, pepper, and spices rather than smoked as are some American bacons. Once seasoned, it is usually rolled into a sausage shape and slipped into a casing for storage. To serve, Pancetta is either sliced crosswise or cut into small cubes and fried until fairly crisp. If well wrapped, pancetta can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 6 months. You will find pancetta in Italian markets and most supermarkets these days. If it isn’t available in your area, you can purchase it by mail at igourmet.com and at Murray’s Cheese.


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