Lardons vs. Pancetta – Differences and Similarities
If you go to a grocery store, you’ll find Pancetta and bacon. Most people don’t know the difference between regular bacon, lardons, and pancetta.
Pancetta is salted pork belly and is usually cured and dried before it is sliced.
It can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets and should be used within six months after it is bought.
Lardons are pork fatbacks that have been diced, seasoned, and cooked.
It is sold precooked and is usually found in the refrigerated meat section of grocery stores.
I have created a guide to help you figure out the distinction between the two groups. There is something called pancetta.
A French type of bacon that is cured and cut into cubes is called lardons. Pork is the main ingredient in Pancetta, a lump of Italian specialty meat.
It is cured and can be sold in cubes, but is also available thinly sliced or in slabs. lardons and pancetta are both smoked, but pancetta is never smoky.
You can learn about the similarities and differences between lardons and pancetta by reading this.
What Are Lardons?
A lardon is a type of bacon that originated in France that people often drop into their soup, or sprinkle over their food.
Not to be confused with bacon strips, lardons are cubes cut from a slab of meat.
It’s used in the U.S. as a topping for meats and baked goods. When a lardon is added to the pot, it creates a nice crunchy sound and adds texture to the dish, similar to bacon bits.
A lot of the time, lardon is smoked like American bacon. This meat is typically cut from cured bacon. Longer shelf life and a richer, saltier taste can be found in cured lardon.
Pork belly or back are some of the cuts that can be used to make cured lardon. It is rubbed with salt and spices and left to dry in a cool room for about a month.
The removal of excess water and a high amount of salt allows the meat to be naturally preserved.
In France, lardons are added to salads, stew, tarts, flambees, quiches, omelets, and numerous other dishes. It is beloved by the French because it is a versatile ingredient.
If they’re cured, lardons can be eaten raw on a platter. Lardons are used in two different ways.
For sauteing vegetables or other ingredients at the early stages of cooking, the fat rendered from lardons is a perfect substitute for oil.
Second, cooked lardon pieces can be added directly into dishes, adding a rich, often smoky, flavor and texture. The traditional use of lardons is called lagging.
In this process, chilled lardons are threaded with a needle and wrapped around meat that needs to be roasted.
Some meat is placed inside other meat with lardons. The technique was begun in the Middle Ages when meat from hunting was often too lean.
Adding flavor to meat is done by larding, as lardons are high in fat. There are slightly under 300 calories per 3.5 ounces of cured lardons.
Most calories come from fat, but the total amount is adequate and shouldn’t cause any health problems if consumed occasionally.
The amount of salt in lardons is 40% of the total mass, which is lower than most Italian cured meats, including pancetta.
What Is Pancetta?
The word pancetta is an Italian term used to describe a salted, cured, air-dried pork leg. The meat can be made with a variety of cuts, depending on what the chef wants.
But pancetta is a thinly sliced and salted pork leg. It has a salty, sweet, nutty flavor.
Traditionally, pancetta is cut very thin and used to top portions of pasta or pizza, but it is also a fantastic addition to pan sauces.
The same process is used for Pancetta and lardons, with slight adjustments due to regional traditions.
A slab of pork belly is rubbed with salt and spices such as black pepper, garlic, and Rosemary. It was hung at room temperature for 24-26 hours after being tied with twine.
After that, the meat is placed in a cooler room and dried out for a while. Pancetta can be found in lots of different ways.
Thinly sliced, chopped into cubes, or as a whole slab is how it is sold. It’s a great addition to a cold meat platter to eat slices of pancetta raw.
It has a salty and tender taste but lacks the smokiness of the bacon. pancetta is usually cooked and added to pasta dishes, soups, salads, and casseroles.
Pancetta has more than 500 calories per 2.5 ounces and3.7 ounces of fat.
People with diabetes and other diseases should not eat pancetta due to its high salt and fat content. Moderate amounts of pancetta are not going to hurt.
Similarities and Differences Between Lardons and Pancetta
The preservation process is the first and most important similarity between lardons and pancetta.
Cured meat has a longer shelf life compared to unprepared meat. The salty taste of both lardons and pancetta can be experienced.
They have a rich flavor because of their high-fat content. Both lardons and pancetta can be used as replacements for each other.
French, Italians, and most chefs don’t like the idea of lardons and pancetta being the same.
These meats are not the same, but they are different from each other because of their products in different regions.
A lot of the time lardons are used for cooking with other meat or sautéing ingredients. Although cured lardon can be eaten raw, it isn’t usually eaten that way.
The smoky taste of bacon makes lardons a good choice. According to this, pancetta is consumed raw, with bread or on its own, and is never smoked.
Both cured portions of meat can be eaten for a long time.
A pancetta slab in its original packaging can last for over six months outside of the fridge, whereas a lardon can last for two months as the meat pieces are smaller.
It must be consumed sooner if sliced pancetta is to be eaten.
Lardons vs. Pancetta – Table
|Cured For||About four weeks||About four weeks|
|Made From||Pork belly, back, or leg||Pork belly|
|Taste||Salty, often but not obligatory smoky||Salty and moderately fatty|
|Shelf-life||Up to 2 months in original packing and up to ten days once opened||Up to ½ a year in original packing and up to two weeks once opened|
|Eaten Raw?||Yes, but it usually isn’t||Yes|
|Used In||Lardons are added as a crispy topping to stews, salads, quiches, and other dishes.||Pasta soups. dishes, casseroles, salads, and other traditional dishes. It can be consumed as it is.|
There are not many lardons in the U.S. While pancetta is delicious and can replace lardons in some recipes, this bacon type has no competition when it comes to larding and sautéing.
Hope this article will help you to understand the difference between Lardons and Pancetta.
It’s a good idea to cook both meat types to find out which is your favorite. The pancetta competition is open to the public.
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