The Glossary of Italian Meats

Italian cuisine is flavor-filled, traditional, and unique. The meats used are some of the most unique aspects of Italian cooking and they provide the authentic Italian flavor we all know and love. A few of the most common Italian meats include: 


Salami refers to meat, traditionally pork or beef, that is chopped or minced and enhanced with added fats. After being salted, spiced, and enhanced with herbs, the mixture is stuffed firmly into a casing. Casings are typically animal intestines. The meats are then left to cure and dry before being slice into the salami that we know and love. 


Mortadella is often called an Italian version of bologna. This is made with pork, spices, and studded with fat to create a creamy texture. Some compare the flavor to that of ham, but smokier. Mortadella was invented to make tough and stringy meat portions more enjoyable, but today it’s made with higher quality ingredients and enjoyed for the authentic traditional feel. 


Prosciutto is similar to American ham, but it’s made using an entire pork leg. The meat is smoked, boiled, or roasted and then sliced very thin to create deli-style meat. With a concentrated flavor profile, a little goes a very long way. 


Cured pork belly is used to create pancetta, commonly known as Italian bacon. The fat to meat ratio in this meat is generous. Mixed with salt and other spices, tied, and left to cure a bold flavor. This can be sliced thin to use as deli meat or used in larger portions to compliment pasta sauces. 


Lardo is exactly what it sounds like – lard. Cured and spiced pork back fat has a buttery smooth texture that’s wonderful all by itself. Be warned, the high-fat content can’t be good for you, but it sure is delicious! 

Stop by Rina’s Pizzeria to enjoy any combination of these authentic Italian meats, and more, in the form of a panini or as a topping of your customized pizza. Combined with high-quality cheese and fresh ingredients, Rina’s specials will be your new favorite way to enjoy deli meat. Once you’ve gotten a taste of these flavorful Italian meats you won’t want to go back to what you were eating before!

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