An Italian Charcuterie Platter

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Sit back, relax and enjoy my definitions of what Italian meats would make up an amazing summertime charcuterie platter. Italian cold cuts are often made from pork: salami, prosciutto, salsiccia, pancetta, and so on, which are also referred to as salumi. Since their names vary considerably from place to place within Italy, I will share with you the differences of each meat and its own distinctive taste. Great for a summer get together or that special evening w/ a glass of wine.

Salami

It’s a large sausage made with ground pork and cubes of fat, seasoned with garlic, salt, and spices. There are two different types, Genoa or Hard. Salamino, is rather spicy is made with enough red pepper to give it that familiar orange coloring; in the US, it’s known as pepperoni.

Prosciutto

Known as Italy’s cured raw hams. Prosciutto can be divided into two categories, dolce (sweet), or Toscano (salty, homemade, or known as Tuscan). Parma, is more refined and more expensive. As most of us know the most common varieties of prosciutto are, Parma and San Daniele. Both should have deep red meat and pure white fat. And just like all the other meats, sliced very thin.

Salsiccia

Salsiccia made with ground pork, cubed pork fat, spices, and herbs, and dried. When getting ready to consume it is best sliced very thin, just like Salami, and truly is a wonderful treat.

Pancetta

Most commonly used is Pancetta (dried meat), this is made from the same cut used to make bacon. However, it’s not smoked, but does come in two different variations, dolce [sweet] and affumicata [smoked]). The ingredients are garlic, salt, and spices, and ground pepper. Pancetta is most commonly used as an ingredient in Carbonara or in Arrabbiata pasta dishes, also for a replacement it is commonly switched out for a very good bacon, for the added flavoring.

Capicola

Also known as Coppa, this is cured shoulder butt. This also has two different varieties, sweet & hot, {notice the hot one will have a hint of red around the outside, this is from the crushed red peppers}

Soppressata

The Mother of Tuscany, this is a cured dry sausage, mainly made from pork {the best cuts, the leg, shoulder, loin, and back of the neck} but also can be made from beef. Also blended with other spices such as cinnamon, cloves, rosemary and other savory spices, and then hung to dry.

As always from my family to yours, “I hope you Feel the LOVE” Buon Appettio Ciao, Jill Bacus