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Love Meat? Here’s a Complete Guide to Classic Italian Deli Meats

Platter Of Deli Meat From Mickey's DeliThink you know your pepperoni from your capicola? Many people walk into our deli wanting one meat and leaving with another. There are many types of Italian deli meats that look relatively the same. To help you get the best tasting meats in Los Angeles, we’ve complied a quick guide on some of the most classic flavors! Keep reading below.

Capicola

Capicola or Capocollo, comes from the Italian words capo, head, and collo, neck. This sweet meat is typically made from the dry-cured muscle that runs from the neck all the way to the ribs of the pork.

This meat is often lightly seasoned with white and red wines, garlic, herbs and spices. The flavor differs depending on the region where it is curated. The meat is then salted and hung for around six months to cure.

This meat is great for party platters with crackers, cheese, and olives. Serve capicola at your next party to impress your guests with delicious, authentic food.

Pancetta

Are you a bacon lover? Who isn’t. If you’re looking for a spin on your favorite meat, try pancetta. This meat comes from the belly of the pork, and is aged for no less than three months. Pancetta is seasoned with salt and loads of pepper. It is curled into a tight roll and wrapped in casing to hold the shape.

Pancetta, like bacon, needs to be cooked before it is eaten. We often find that this deli meat is wrapped around vegetables, chopped and cooked in sauce, or used as toppings on dishes like pastas and salads.

Prosciutto

Prosciutto, pancetta, and bacon are all commonly mistaken. These classic Italian deli meats have very distinct characteristics and make each ideal for different meals.

Prosciutto is made from the pork leg rather than the belly, which translated into less fat. After being salted, prosciutto is left to age for nine to 18 months.

Unlike bacon and pancetta, this meat is best served raw. Stuff it into sandwiches, layer it on top of pizzas, or chop it in your salad—the possibilities for this sweet, thin deli meat are endless.

Pepperoni

Everybody loves this classic deli meat piled on top of their favorite, piping hot pizza. Pepperoni is one of the most well know Italian meats. It is spicy and made from either pork or beef, or even a mixture of both. The meat is created with salt, pepper, and a mix of zesty red peppers and is sold in the form of a sausage.

Mortadella

Mortadella is a form of sausage that boasts a savory flavor and a smooth texture. This meat is ground as smooth as silk and mixed with ingredients, such as peppercorns, olives, and pistachios. After wrapped in a casing and cured, this meat is typically served in paper thin slices on sandwiches, party platters, and entree dishes.

Salami

Salami is another widely popular Italian deli meat. It is a type of cured sausage that is made from a mixture of pork, beef, and veal. The meats are flavored with garlic and other herbs and spices. The meat and spices go through a process of salting, drying, and, in some cases, smoking to form into sausage.

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