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Clai Pancetta Affumicata Slab
Salt Cured and Smoked to Perfection
Pancetta is a salumi made of pork belly meat that is salt cured. This particular kind of pancetta is called Pancetta Affumicata which goes through an extra smoking process after curing. Pancetta is regarded as the Italian version of streaky bacon.
Tasting Notes from The Curator
Pancetta is often made with pork belly brined in a mixture of salt, garlic and various spices for at least 10 days then dried naturally. An added step, although not as common, is to smoke the pancetta after salt curing, instead of drying. This creates depth to the flavor and taste of the meat which still works perfectly well to dishes that require it.
This pancetta, although smoked, is best cooked before being eaten. Smoking of this pancetta can be done with a wide range of woods, from apple to maple, which each give their own distinctive, delicious flavors to the meat
This pancetta can be enjoyed in thin slices or cubed and often used like bacon, sautéed with onions or garlic to form the base of a soup, pasta, or risotto. It is also seen as an alternative meat to be used for Italian carbonara, if and only if, guanciale is not available. (Guanciale still being the most preferred meat of choice for this sacred Italian classic dish.) Other recipes to consider for this pancetta are: Taglatelle al ragu, Paninis, Pasta with Asparagus and Pancetta, Avocado with egg and Pancetta slices, and tomato based dishes that require smoky, flavorful meat.
For wine parings, recommended are wines with the Sangiovese grape, a widely planted grape in Italy and key variety in Tuscany’s renowed Chianti. The high acidity of Sangiovese matches well with all manner of well-spiced foods, such as this Pancetta Affumicata. It also contains moderate tannin to match the fat of the pork.
An Italian Pork Investment
If a slab of pancetta scares you, fret not! Pancetta is sold as a fully cured meat which allows for a longer shelf life. This particular smoked pancetta has a shelf life of up to 4 months, provided that it is stored properly in the fridge, away from other raw food. Once opened, it is encouraged to be stored in ziploc bags to maintain its freshness in the fridge. If you’re looking to store it for longer, place sliced pancetta in individual bags or wrappings and freeze so it’s easy to thaw only the amount you need.