Pancetta vs Prosciutto

Many people wonder what the difference is between pancetta and prosciutto. Good news, we have the answers to your questions! Discover what pancetta and prosciutto are, how to pronounce them, and how both of these cured meats can be paired with cheese for a charcuterie board.

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What is Pancetta?

Charcuterie Board

Pronounced pan-chet-uh, pancetta is a type of salami made of cured pork belly meat. Originating in Italy, pancetta is traditionally found in soups and pasta dishes, which helps add more flavor and depth to the recipes. Pancetta is closely related to bacon and can be substituted in most recipes.

What is Prosciutto?

Pronounced as proh-shoo-toh, prosciutto is a type of cured meat originally from Italy. Prosciutto is a thinly sliced meat that comes from the hind leg of a pig and can be found in common pasta entrees, on flatbread pizzas, or paired with different types of cheeses on a meat and cheese tray. Prosciutto can be swapped with closely related salt-cured meats like salami.

The Differences Between Pancetta and Prosciutto

Even though pancetta and prosciutto originated in Italy and come from pigs, they are very different. Here are the differences between pancetta and prosciutto:



  • Meat from pig belly
  • Cured meat and must be cooked before eating
  • Usually contains more fat


  • Meat from the hind leg of the pig
  • Salt-cured and does not need to be cooked
  • Very lean cut of meat

Simple Charcuterie Board Ideas

Now that you understand the differences between pancetta and prosciutto, you can create your own meat and cheese platter! Continue reading to find out how to make a simple charcuterie board.

Different Types of Meat

Choose one or all of the following meats to craft your charcuterie board.

  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Bresaola
  • Chorizo

Different Types of Cheese

Make sure to pair your choice of meats with different types of cheese from the list below.

  • Aged Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Goat
  • Gorgonzola

Charcuterie Board Extras

Pair your prosciutto and cheese with charcuterie board accessories like jam, olives, and fruit. Ideas for these are below.

  • Fig spread
  • Kalamata olives
  • Green olives
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Butter crackers
  • Sliced baguette

Pancetta and prosciutto are two kinds of meat that originated in Italy. With the many different uses for both pancetta and prosciutto, you can make a wide variety of dishes for your menu. Experience a taste of Italy with these two different meats.

Posted in: Kitchen & Cooking Tips | By Angalena Malavenda
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