Tuesday, June 1, 2010
pancetta is a salt cured pork belly product that is then rolled, much like bacon, differing only in that pancetta isn't smoked like bacon is. it is rather spendy and hard to find locally, but its a great addition to all sorts of things. it tastes similar to bacon but the pork flavor and fat flavor comes across as a bit more refined on the palate. i cut big rings from it in this instance and then cut what we call "lardons" which is a rather fancy way of saying pieces that are about 1/2 inch in width, then slowly rendered fat out of them over the stove and ended up with perfectly crisp bits of pork belly. i cut it into some polenta for a dinner special, adding a bit of the rendered fat for more depth of flavor and better mouth feel. great product. when you look at a lean fish or protein for that matter it is always nice to think about contrasting that lean-ness with something that will offer some fat for a much more balanced. per bite, flavor. it may seem excessive but- "if i want to impress someone i use olive oil, if i want to amaze someone i use butter, and if i want to blow them away, animal fats are the only real option."