Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Can You Eat Raw Pancetta?

I've seen on my Statcounter that the second most common way people get to my site is by googling "Can you eat raw pancetta?". The #1 most common seems to be, "How to build a balcony" for which I just have no answer at all, sorry. The problem is that up until now, I have left the pancetta knowledge seekers unsatisfied. Today, I'm going to rectify all that, today I'm conducting a raw pancetta taste/health test.
You see, lo these 3 years in Milan, I have yet to eat pancetta raw. I chop it up and fry it with vegetables to make a minestrone soup base, I stuff Thanksgiving turkeys with it, I wrap fennel and radicchio in it and bake them, but I've never dared to eat the stuff raw. Lots of Italians do this however and with no apparent trychnosis epidemic, so I imagine it's safe despite the fact it really looks exactly like raw bacon. So, here goes: Gulp. Music to eat raw pork by: Somehow the gross thought of eating raw "bacon" calls for punk rock, don't you think? Today, I'll go with the Meat Puppets. Well, as for taste, it's got the very salty flavor of cured pork; I can't say it's as nice as prosciutto. This particular pancetta was not the most expensive at the store, so maybe I should have sprung for the fancy stuff. Yet, it certainly isn't terrible by any means. Time will only tell if there are any health consequences for eating raw pancetta. Tune in tomorrow for the belly report!


Blogger Paz said...

LOL! I hope everything is fine and you don't have a belly ache!


1:34 PM  
Blogger a.c.t said...

Are you OK? Rather you than me. I have eaten Lardo with is probably equally as disgusting. I do love Bresaola though but with a bit of lemon juice which cooks it a bit.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Haalo said...

raw pancetta is lovely - grew up eating the stuff raw, it's the only way my mother served it, that's the way she ate it in italy.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Paz, I'm doing fine, thanks!

Hi a.c.t, You know, actually I had some expensive lardo in a restaurant once, ate it on a dare and it was actually pretty good (in small doses). Bresaola, though still gives me the heebee geebees ;) I think a lot of this has to do with the quality of the product. I'll bet expensive pancetta is delicious.

Hi Haalo, Yes, if you grow up with something, it's less likely to gross you out. From an American perspective, it seems impossible to eat something like pancetta raw whereas, prosciutto, much more common there, seems to cause problems for nobody. Did your mom buy a cetain brand of pancetta?

5:34 PM  
Blogger Haalo said...

In Italy it was home made, as was the prosciutto, salami etc, here in Australia, when she first arrived you would get it from other Italians and then from Italian Delis then it became more popular and you can pretty much find it at most delis - the one I'm used to is the round one, the rolled version. It's really interesting to see that proscuitto and pancetta are viewed so differently.
As an aside, Lardo is something I only tasted when we went to Umbria last year and it was just incredibly delicious - it just dissolved in your mouth and had such an amazing flavour - I just loved it, though I don't think I've ever seen it here in Australia.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

Interesting. I love sushi, but I'm not sure about this! Love your photos.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i typed "eating pancetta raw" and here i am! feels like the start of heroes

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

F.Y.I. Bacon is not "raw pork." Bacon is cured with salt and smoke the same way ham is cured with salt and smoke. Eating bacon out of the package will not hurt you, it's the same as eating ham without warming or cooking it.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Misfits 4ever said...

your an idiot

12:46 AM  
Anonymous LukeNolson said...

No he isn't. You can eat cured meats raw. It's just not the done thing. The only reason we don't eat raw meat is because it has the potantial to make us ill (and very rarely more than a very sore stomach not instant death like alot of people think). So it is safer and sometimes tastier to cook it. Curing meat kills just about all of the bacteria in meat and as such it almost "sterilises" the meat which means it can be eaten raw. the italians have been doing it for centuries and they are not idiots. Pancetta and dry cured bacon are almost the same and can be consumed in much the same way. I wouldn't call "Misfits 4ever" an idiot like they called the anonymous commentator; just someone who is less informed than the person they called an idiot. What's less informed than an idiot?

3:10 PM  

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