I see pancetta next to the bacon at a local butcher and was wondering what the difference was between the two?
I addition to what Tabiasopdenbrouw said, and more to the point of usage/taste:
- Bacon is typically cut thinner and ends up crispier than pancetta.
- Both are often rendered for their fat before adding onions, peppers, etc... to the pan to pick up those pork fat flavors.
- Pancetta is often saltier in flavor though this is usually the case because the pancetta is cut thicker or into dices, so you get bigger bites of it and thus more salt. This is the biggest different between the two.
Bacon and pancetta are both made from pork bellies; the difference between them lies in how they’re prepared and cured. To make bacon, pork belly sides are brined and then smoked. Pancetta, the Italian version of bacon, is made by seasoning a pork belly side with salt and lots of pepper, curling it into a tight roll, and wrapping it in a casing to hold the shape. It’s cured, but it isn’t smoked.
Pancetta from what i have been shown how to make is nothing like bacon. ours is cured where bacon is not. Also after 9 months of curing it does not need to be cooked. We don't roll ours. we leave the ribs in for the curing process and clean it up after when we are ready to eat it. It has so much flavor on its own aswell with a piece of bread is amazing.