Cured Meat at a Glance
Traditionally the best cured meats have an international origin, but as the American food scene evolves there are many stateside sources for excellent cured meats. This is a brief glance at the standards, but we invite you to dig deeper.
- Prosciutto: Made from the hind leg of the pig, rubbed with salt and spices, and air dried.
- Speck: A pork product very similar to prosciutto, this meat is smoked as a final step in the curing process.
- Guanciale: This cured pork jowl is especially delicious and needs to be fried before eating.
- Jamon Iberico: This product originates in Spain and comes from highly prized pigs that are free range and fed acorns prior to slaughter. It has an incredible sweet and nutty flavor and is considered to be the best cured ham in the world.
- Virginia Surryano Ham: This is an American version of european style cured ham.
- Bresaola: this is lean, air cured beef with a deeper more meaty flavor than prosciutto.
- Salami: Is prepared with a lot of spices and is chewy as well as sweet.
- Lardo: This is basically thinly sliced cured pork fat that has a delicate delicious flavor.
- Culatello di Zibello: Many believe that culatello is the king of cured meats. It is made from the large muscle at the rear of the pig. It is cured in large humid caves in Italy and has an indescribably delicious flavor.
These are just a few of the most popular cured meats but we invite you to check out some of the sources, especially in Iowa, where there are more pigs than people. Our favorite source is LaQuercia.us/. This Iowa company produces some of the highest quality cured pork products in the world.