Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 10, 2012 11:18 AM

Pancetta - Do you prefer more fat or less fat on a slice/piece?

I'm not a particular lover of pork, although so many recipes do call for pancetta. Maybe it would be helpful (for me - and maybe others) to get a little better understanding of what pancetta to purchase.
I'm wondering if
1) there is a brand of pancetta that a person prefers for all recipes, regardless of the amount of fat (and then trims too much fat? or uses more fat from that piece).
2) one brand of pancetta that a person likes 'less' fat included - to use in certain receipes.
3) one brand of pancetta that a person likes 'more' fat included - to use in certain recipes.

Hoping for some answers so that I can use this product that is so prevalent in many ethnic recipes. Thanks. (I can't even remember the last time I've seen a chartcuterie/butcher shop.)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Since I almost always use it in small amounts, I don't worry too much about the fat-to-meat ratio; it's usually more about getting an extra layer of flavor. I guess if I'm using it for pasta, esp. carbonara, I'd prefer a meatier bit. But I don't know it by brand. I always buy a good-sized piece from an Italian grocery and keep it in the freezer and cut off what I need when necessary as it's much more economical that way.
    I love the stuff, though--a little delivers a lot of flavor.

    5 Replies
    1. re: nomadchowwoman

      This is the package I found a few days ago, which is a brand that looks quite reliable and no antibiotics. I've used this years ago; seems a lot of fat to me, though I've not purchased any 'slabs.'

      1. re: Rella

        I've never bought it, or even seen it, in a package, since I always buy it by the slices from an Italian store. But the rolled pancetta that I most often buy looks almost identical to that shown in your package. Some Italian markets also will sell house-cured slab pancetta, often coated with peperoncino and other spices. That might be a tad less fatty.

        1. re: erica

          Thanks, Erica. Darn if I didn't post the wrong pic, as I didn't mean to post the brand. Here is the back side of the package.

        2. re: Rella

          Actually, Rella, that looks relatively meaty as compared to what I have in the freezer right now.

          1. re: nomadchowwoman

            Oh, goody! Thanks so much. I appreciate your reply.

      2. The original comment has been removed