Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant and experienced the deliciousness of their cured Italian meats? When you think of cured meat, you think of an American product right away.

But Italy produces some of the best cured meats in the world. One of Italy’s many food gifts to the world.

What are some of the best Italian cured meats you need to try? There are many regional differences in style and substance as far as cured meats go. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options around the country.

1. Salumi Meat

Salumi Meat

Salumi is one of the types of cured meat made with pork, often combined with fat and seasonings. It is known for its intense flavor and rich, smoky notes, and it can be found in many Italian markets.

Salumi is perfect for a sandwich, atop a burger, or for added salty, fatty, good-for-you snacking. It is also great on an antipasto platter, served alongside other cured meats, cheeses, olives, and giardiniera.

2. Proscuitto


Proscuitto is made from the hind legs of a pig, cured with a mix of salt, pepper, and sometimes other spices, then hung to dry for several months or even years. The result is a delicate, intensely flavorful delight.

Like other Italian dried meats, it is often served as part of an antipasti platter, wrapped around fruit, or even fried and layered as part of a sandwich. It pairs especially well with fruits and vegetables plus is a staple ingredient in many Italian recipes.

3. Pancetta


This bacon-like meat is made from the belly, sides, or back of a pig. It is salted and cured with various herbs such as pepper, rosemary, and fennel, giving it a unique flavor. When it is cooked, the salty flavor cuts through the sweetness of some vegetables and provides a nice contrast.

Pancetta can be eaten as-is or wrapped around other meats. It can be added to dishes like pasta sauces and risotto to add flavor and texture. Pancetta can be used in salads, stews, or roasted with vegetables.

4. Cacciatore


Cacciatore is made from beef, pork, or veal that is smoked in an oak barrel. The flavor is a combination of smoky, sweet, and savory, with a hint of garlic and spices. Its smoky and complex flavor profile is sure to excite your taste buds.

It pairs perfectly with robust Italian cheese and crusty bread. It’s best enjoyed thinly sliced and served with a glass of robust Italian red wine.

5. Calabrese


Calabrese is a salami made from pork which is dry-cured and spiced with garlic, black pepper, and chili flakes. The combination results in a unique, spicy flavor that many Italians can’t get enough of. The meats are hung up to dry for two to three months before they reach the appropriate level of flavor and texture.

Calabrese is often consumed in thin slices as a tasty snack or served atop dishes such as pizza, pasta, or on toast. It’s also a great way to bring a bit of Italian flavor to Italian dishes such as lasagna or classic spaghetti and meatballs.

Try These Italian Cured Meats Now

Italy is renowned for its exquisitely cured meats for good reasons. These delicious delicacies are perfect for any meal or occasion. Make sure to try these delicious assortments of Italian cured meats to showcase your next charcuterie platter or sandwich!

Visit your local Italian deli, or Italy itself, to get the full experience of Italian cured meats. Try these tasty treats today, and you won’t be disappointed!

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