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Apr 30, 2008 05:21 PM

What is Ventresca when talking about pork?

My market sells a product in the meat cases labeled "fresh bacon (ventresca)". It looks like slices of uncured pork, because the color is that drab color that pork has if there are no nitrates. I purchased it and cooked it up in a stir-fry calling for fresh pork belly slices. I found it to be delicious, having a meaty, bacon-y taste, yet the dish was too salty, which suggests to me that the meat was not "fresh", but salted, at least, unless the recipe itself is overly full of salt. I've never tried fresh pork belly before to know what it ought to have been.

Is "Ventresca" a salted or cured product, or is it fresh, as it was labeled?

Yes, I ought to ask at the store, but there is no one in the store who is likely to know, in my experience.

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  1. I think ventresca just means belly. Ventresca tuna is the belly portion of the fish, so ventresca "fresh bacon" is just plain pork belly.

    1. Yes, as Humbucker says, the ventresca in Italian is a choice tender morsel located along the belly of a pig or a tuna. Is it cured or not? your butcher could tell you that. There is also a good recipe for "Lentilles a la Ventresco", and I wonder if that includes some petit sale in the sofritto.