Speck Alto Adige IGP 250g | ūü¶ÜThe Bow Tie Duck Manila
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Speck 250g

Salt, Smoke, and Mountain Air

This light¬≠ly smoked, cured Ital¬≠ian ham, cousin of pro¬≠sciut¬≠to crudo, is made only in South Tyrol, a land full of Ger¬≠man-Aus¬≠tri¬≠an influence.

TAST­ING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR

Ital¬≠ian speck is known for¬≠mal¬≠ly as Speck Alto Adi¬≠ge, to dif¬≠fer¬≠en¬≠ti¬≠ate it from Ger¬≠man speck, which is pork fat with very lit¬≠tle meat. Ital¬≠ian speck is brown¬≠er than pro¬≠sciut¬≠to, denser and well-mar¬≠bled with a high elas¬≠tic¬≠i¬≠ty and amaz¬≠ing depth of fla¬≠vor. Juniper berry notes are strong beneath the smoky, spiced taste, and its aro¬≠ma is heav¬≠i¬≠ly rem¬≠i¬≠nis¬≠cent of the moun¬≠tain¬≠side it was smoked on.

Only 29 pro¬≠duc¬≠ers in the Tyrol region of Italy, all under the Con¬≠sorzio Tutela Speck Alto Adi¬≠ge, are allowed to pro¬≠duce true Ital¬≠ian speck, which merges the cur¬≠ing method of the Mediter¬≠ranean with North¬≠ern Euro¬≠pean smok¬≠ing. They all use pork thighs, and the meat is deboned and laid flat as a nar¬≠row, round¬≠ed slab. From there, it is rubbed with a spice mix that typ¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly includes salt, juniper berries, bay leaves, pep¬≠per. It is left to mar¬≠i¬≠nate like this for up to three weeks in a cold room before it is smoked out¬≠doors to ben¬≠e¬≠fit from expo¬≠sure to the moun¬≠tain air. 

PREPA­RA­TION OR PAIRINGS

Ital¬≠ian speck makes a love¬≠ly snack or antipas¬≠to all on its own. It is great on a slice of toast¬≠ed bread with a lit¬≠tle sprin¬≠kle of hon¬≠ey‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČwe like to use Tartu¬≠fi Mor¬≠ra Black Truf¬≠fle Hon¬≠ey for an addy earth¬≠i¬≠ness to the fla¬≠vor‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČor along¬≠side Ital¬≠ian cow‚Äôs milk cheeses like Piave or a young Parmi¬≠giano Reggiano. 

It adds a unique smok¬≠i¬≠ness to pas¬≠tas and omelets‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČor oth¬≠er egg-based dish¬≠es. The kitchen-savvy food¬≠ie will cer¬≠tain¬≠ly want to try their hand at using speck in a tra¬≠di¬≠tion¬≠al Tyrolean dish, the caned¬≠er¬≠li, a deli¬≠cious gnoc¬≠chi-like dumpling that is typ¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly served in broth or with bread¬≠crumbs and brown but¬≠ter. And for your accom¬≠pa¬≠ny¬≠ing tip¬≠ple, we rec¬≠om¬≠mend a good Chi¬≠anti or Sangiovese!

THE TYROLEAN SNACK OF CHOICE

Offi¬≠cial¬≠ly, meat labeled as speck was first record¬≠ed in Italy in the 18th cen¬≠tu¬≠ry, though it went by many dif¬≠fer¬≠ent names before that all the way to the year 1200. This type of meat was cured so that vil¬≠lagers could have access to it long after the Yule¬≠tide butcher¬≠ing sea¬≠son was over. It was most impor¬≠tant in the poor¬≠er parts of the coun¬≠try, where fresh meat was scarce. As the cen¬≠turies rolled on, speck made its way to ban¬≠quet tables and high-soci¬≠ety feasts. Today, speck is so com¬≠mon in the region, it is often snacked on with a bit of bread and a nice glass of wine.

Storage Instructions

Vac¬≠u¬≠um-sealed packs of hand-carved cured meats can last up to five months in the refrig¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tor (nev¬≠er the freez¬≠er). Once the pack is opened, they‚Äôre best enjoyed with¬≠in the day.

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