Tense bacon, characteristics and production
The pancetta is a variety of bacon which takes its name from the fact that the piece of meat from which it is derived, ie the lean part of the pig’s belly, expertly salted and seasoned, is matured in its original form, unlike the bacon classic that has a circular, rounded shape.
For this reason , pancetta tesa , in Tuscany also called carnesecca, has a square, rectangular shape, in blocks or slices streaked with red-pink and white. On the palate it melts in the mouth thanks to the veining of noble fat from the lean belly part of the pig, for a flavored but still “soft” and delicate flavor.
The production of the stretched pancetta starts from trimming the belly, with the rind, followed by the salting phase and then by the flavoring (in some variants also with chilli for a more decisive taste). Subsequently the pancetta is left to rest to allow the aromas to be absorbed and distributed well in the meat, then massaged, dried and aged for at least two months, in a cool and ventilated environment.
Tense bacon and combinations
Ideal to be consumed in purity, pancetta can be enjoyed next to a cheese platter and a plate of dried fruit, but it also enhances even more delicate flavors, to try for example with acacia honey. With meat it is an ingredient in very tasty rolls and skewers (perhaps with the addition of caciocavallo), with fish they make banded garfish, with vegetables it is excellent with asparagus. For first courses it is a sought-after ingredient of pasta all’amatriciana, to be tasted also in combination with walnut pesto.