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Pancetta - do you have to cook it

Pancetta is sliced and sold in the Deli section but I have always considered it more like a bacon product and cooked it before eating it. Would you eat pancetta if the deli person offered you a slice?

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  1. Pancetta needs cooking. Prosciutto does not.

    1. No, but not because of any health concerns. I make my own pancetta and bacon and have tried the raw product a couple of times. Unless you like the taste of salty fat with a bit of gristle I suggest you pass next time someone offers.

      ps - Pancetta is indeed a bacon product (or bacon is a pancetta product). There are many variations, but bacon and pancetta are essentially the same thing, except that bacon is smoked and pancetta is not, and pancetta cures usually include garlic and various herbs while bacon cures might use maple syrup or molasses instead of sugar.

      1. No. And I wouldn't eat raw bacon, either.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pikawicca

          bacon and pancetta are different. fact. pancetta is edible. thats why you find it in deli section. and bacon in raw meat section!

        2. I would not eat uncooked Panchetta. It is salt "cured" but even though that preserves it, it does not eliminate bacteria that might have invaded it at some point prior to preservation. I am always amazed that some deli counters will offer uncooked Panchetta "samples". It doesn't taste the same uncooked as it does when its cooked so what could the sample possible reveal?

          4 Replies
          1. re: todao

            While it is pronounced "panchetta" it is most definitely spelled "pancetta".

            1. re: Philly Ray

              Yeah, thanks Philly.... I sometimes let my typing fingers get ahead of my spelling fingers. Probably why my college GPA was only 3.5

              1. re: Philly Ray

                In Italian, a single c before an e is pronounced "ch" - can be very confusing for those of us who don't speak fluent italian.

              2. re: todao

                salting does eliminate bacteria. bacteria likes the liquid. salt goes in, liquid comes out. perfectly edible. again, as in previous replies, if it wasnt safe then why does every single deli in the land sell pancetta alongside salami, speck, prosciuttio?

              3. As stated pancetta is essentially bacon that has not been smoked and as such I wouldn't eat it uncooked. My bacon on the other hand has been hot smoked to at least 150 degrees f which I consider safe to eat, (and often do).

                3 Replies
                1. re: csweeny

                  Boars Head Pancetta is sold in the deli case, it states on the label "ready to eat"

                  1. re: ospreycove

                    I'd imagine they do something more in the curing process than most bacons I've seen. Five days to a week in the cure, even with nitriates/nitrites, (I have such a hard time keeping them straight), it would seem to me that a major brand such as Boars Head would have something more substantial up their corporate sleeve in regards to liability from uncooked pork, etc. I suppose if it's hung long enough ala dried sausage it might fly but would that still be pancetta?

                  2. re: csweeny

                    cured pancetta is cured, therefore is edible without further cooking. facted. otherwise why would you find in in every deli in every american state and every european country alongside prosciutto, salami, speck etc...