If I lived in Italy this blog would have been named “Mr. Pancettapants”. That’s because pancetta, what most people call Italian bacon, and American bacon are just about the same thing. The only difference is how they’re made.

Bacon is made from pork belly that is brined and then smoked. The belly than can be sliced to various thicknesses. It’s traditional to serve bacon in the morning for breakfast.

Pancetta is also from pork bellies but they just season it with salt and pepper. Then it’s curled in to a tight roll and wrapped in a casing to hold the shape. Its then left to dried out for a few months. It’s usually served during lunch or dinner.

So as you can see the only real difference is, one is smoke and the other is just cured. This brings me to a very interesting question: Is it the pork belly that makes it bacon or is it the smoking?

Let me know what your thoughts are on this. Can pancetta share the same claim that bacon does? I might have to make a Pancetta Explosion and find out myself.

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