A chance visit to Luretta DOP has given me a closer look at Italian cured meats. Luretta, located at the top floor of Isetan 1Utama, serves Italian food and more importantly, quality Italian ingredients. From dried tomatoes and porcini to what I was here for, Italian meats.
The 3 I tried :
Prosciutto - Italian Ham
Prosciutto Crudo to be exact, is Italian dry cured ham.
There were 2 different Prosciuttos, one from Parma and another from San Danielle. I felt the Parma ham was tougher, San Danielle had a more savoury taste and a more melt in your mouth feel. I would think the Parma was more suited to cook with or perhaps in heavier sandwiches, the San Danielle is easily eaten as is.
Porchetta - Italian 'siu yok' (pork belly)
The Porchetta, Italian roast pork, was wonderful. There is an unmistakable Italian herb & spices taste with beautifully cooked pork.
Pancetta - Italian Bacon
I have always wondered how Pancetta would taste in comparison to normal bacon, but never really gave it a try considering it is about 3x more expensive. Luretta DOP was serving good quality meats so I thought this would be a great time to try. My verdict, pancetta has a smokier flavour, aromatic meat and erm, silkier? Fats. When you hold it in your hand, you can already feel the fats melting. Visually, you can see more wonderful fat marbling on pancetta.
And now to capture those wonderful Pancetta flavours in a classic spaghetti carbonara. Many of Jamie's recipes often call for pancetta that I had previous times simply substituted with bacon, this time I can really follow exactly.
It is tastier, but hardly significant (of course it might simply be I am not skilled enough). For me, future carbonaras, simple bacon is good enough.
For the Prosciutto and Porchetta, I added it to a salad and it really elevates it to an amazing level of tastiness. And surprisingly this goes really well with Japanese sesame salad sauce!