It is pork fat – belly or fatback – cured with salt. This food is popular in Italian, French, American, Slavic cuisines, and many others.
In traditional American cuisine, pork fat used in old Boston baked beans recipes. Pork fat and beans are a popular combination in American cuisine.
Salted fatback or pork belly also adds to vegetables, cooked in water. It generally is cut and rendered before use.
In other ethnic cuisines salt pork also popular. In French cuisine, it called a lardon (or lardoon). It is a small strip or cube of pork fat or fatty bacon. Lardon used to flavor foods and salads. Lardons never smoked and made from fat, cured with salt.
Traditional French dishes with lardon: tartes flambées, beef bourguignon, quiche Lorraine, omelette with potatoes, coq au vin.
Salo – is a traditional East Slavic food. It is cured slabs of fatback, with or without skin. Especially famous in Ukraine.
Pancetta – Italian salumi made of salt-cured pork belly meat. Pancetta is typically added to soups and pasta.
Italian Salt Pork – Ancient Roman Dish
Also from Italy came to us famous Lardo – cured pork. It used to be thought of as a food for the poor, but now it is a delicacy. The Tuscan village of Colonnata is particularly famous for lardo. Traditionally, this Italian dish used large marble tubs. It has been made there since Roman times.
Maybe you don’t know how to make lardo. Lardo recipes and the process of salting are simple. First, the container is thoroughly cleaned, its inner walls are rubbed with garlic. The bottom always covered with a thick layer of salt mixed with spices and herbs.
The main set of spices for pickling fat contains rosemary, garlic, and black pepper. The flavor changes by adding different spices.
Pieces of pork fat are stacked in dense layers. The space between pieces is plentifully poured with salt and fragrant herbs.
It is cured in spices and salt and is stored for many weeks.
You might think that lardo is greasy and heavy as it is made from fat, but it isn’t. It has a creamy and mild flavor.
This preserved form of meat was historically carried on board sailing ships to provide rations during long voyages at sea.