3 Differences Between Prosciutto, Pancetta, And Bacon (And Why They Matter)

Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham. It has a long history dating back to Roman times. The name prosciutto comes from the Latin word “prosciutto” meaning “before the slaughter”.

The prosciutto was originally produced only from pigs raised in the mountainous regions of Italy. Today, however, there are prosciuttos made from pigs raised in other parts of Europe and North America.

Pancetta is a type of cured pork product. It is usually made from the belly of the pig, but can also be made from other parts of the pig such as the shoulder or leg. Pancetta has a rich flavor and is often used in Italian dishes. It is typically sliced thin and added to pasta sauces, soups, salads, and sandwiches.

Bacon is a type of meat that comes from pigs. It is usually cured and smoked. The bacon is then sliced into thin strips and served as an appetizer or snack.

Bacon has been around since the early days of America. In fact, the first commercial bacon was produced in 18th century Virginia.

Bacon, prosciutto, pancetta… these words might sound similar, but they’re actually quite different. If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between bacon, prosciutto, and pancetta was, then read on.

What is prosciutto?

Prosciutto is a type of Italian cured meat This delicious food originated during ancient Rome when it was common for Romans to cure their own meats.

What Is Prosciutto? | LoveToKnow

Today, prosciutto is still made using traditional methods. However, some producers use modern techniques like injecting saltwater brine directly into the muscle tissue before drying them out.

Prosciutto originates from Parma province in northern Italy where it is traditionally made with hogs fed exclusively on acorns. Acorn feeding produces leaner cuts of meat which makes this region famous for its high-quality prosciutto.

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Prosciutto di San Daniele is one of the most popular types of prosciutto. It is named after Saint Daniel who lived in the 9th Century AD. He was born in Sardinia and became known for his piety and charity towards animals. Prosciutto Cotto is another variety of prosciutto that uses uncooked ingredients.

What is pancetta?

Pancetta is simply a type of cured pork sausage. Like prosciutto, it is made by curing raw pork products. But unlike prosciutto, the pork is not aged. Instead, pancetta is cooked until tender and then seasoned.

Pancetta vs. Bacon - Article - FineCooking

It is commonly found in Italian cuisine. You will find pancetta in many recipes including lasagna, ravioli, pizza toppings, and even desserts! Where did bacon come from?

In 1621, English settlers introduced American colonists to bacon. At first, Americans were skeptical about eating something called bacon because they thought it tasted too much like beef.

However, over time, people began to appreciate the taste of bacon more than beef. By 1750, bacon had become so popular that every household needed at least two pounds per week.

What is bacon?

Bacon is basically just pork loin that has been salted, dried, and sometimes smoked. There are several varieties of bacon available today: regular bacon, thick-cut bacon, Canadian bacon, breakfast bacon, back bacon, etc.

Bacon - Wikipedia

Regular bacon is the kind we all know and love. Thick-cut bacon is thicker than normal bacon. Breakfast bacon is very fatty while back bacon is thinner and less fatty. Canadian bacon is also referred to as “smoked ham”. It is often used in casseroles and other dishes that require a bit of fat. Back bacon is cut off the side of the pig instead of being taken from the belly area.

The main distinctions between these three hefty players

Okay, now that you’ve learned about these three types of meat, we can properly discuss their distinctions. We won’t get into geographic disparities because they aren’t the most important in this case.

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Bacon and pancetta may be substituted

The main difference between bacon and pancetta is that bacon can only be eaten uncured whereas pancetta must be cured or cooked prior to consumption.

If you want to substitute bacon for prosciutto, you need to make sure your recipe calls for uncured bacon. Otherwise, you could end up ruining your dish.

You should always cook the bacon before consuming it. The same goes for prosciutto. When cooking prosciutto, do not overcook it. If you let it get too dry, it becomes tough.

You cannot replace bacon with pancetta if you plan to eat it uncooked. This would result in an unappetizing meal.

Prosciutto is better served on its own

When serving prosciutto alone, try using a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper. That’s how I prefer my prosciutto.

But when paired with cheese, pasta, bread, or vegetables, you’ll probably want to use a little salt. Just don’t go overboard. Too much salt ruins the flavor of any food.

If grilling use either bacon or pancetta

Grilled meats are great but there’s nothing quite like grilled bacon or pancetta. Both have a smoky flavor that makes them perfect for barbecuing.

They’re both easy to grill since they take longer to cook than steak. Plus, they tend to stay moist during the process.

To ensure that your bacon doesn’t burn, place it directly onto the coals. Don’t put it near the heat source. Also, keep turning it frequently. You might even consider placing aluminum foil under it to prevent burning.

On pizza and spaghetti, all three types of meat are fantastic.

Pizza toppings are usually limited to tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and maybe basil leaves. But what happens when you add bacon?

It adds a lot of flavor without taking away from the rest of the ingredients. Try adding slices of bacon to your next batch of homemade pizza dough. Or toss some strips of bacon into your favorite macaroni salad.

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There are many ways to enjoy bacon. So why limit yourself to one type of meat? Use different kinds of bacon whenever possible! Bacon and pancetta can be cooked along with the spaghetti sauce, but prosciutto should be added last. This way, the flavors will meld together perfectly.

So which one is best? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some people say that bacon is king. Others claim that prosciutto reigns supreme. Personally, I think that bacon has been overrated for years.

I’m more partial to prosciutto myself. However, I still appreciate bacon. In fact, I’d rather eat bacon every day than just once per week.

Does it matter which you use?

Yes, it does. Each kind of meat has unique qualities that set it apart from others. For example, bacon tends to be leaner while prosciutto contains less fat.

Bacon also tastes sweeter than prosciutto because it comes from pigs raised specifically for their pork chops. On top of this, bacon is often smoked. While prosciutto isn’t necessarily smoked, it may contain nitrates as part of its curing process. The bottom line: each variety of meat has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to you to decide which ones work well for you.


The choice between bacon, pancetta, and prosciutto boils down to personal preference. If you love bacon, then, by all means, but lots of it.

However, if you find that you only need a small amount at a time, then opt for prosciutto instead. There’s no reason not to experiment with these delicious foods.

Just remember that each kind of meat has its benefits and drawbacks. Choose wisely so that you get the most out of your meals.


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