A Guide To Cured Italian Meats For Memorial Day Weekend Entertaining

Check out our guide to cured Italian meats for Memorial Day weekend entertaining.

Check out our guide to cured Italian meats for Memorial Day weekend entertaining.

Memorial Day Weekend is just a few days away, and since the holiday marks the first unofficial day of summer, it is often celebrated with backyard parties with family and good food. Cured Italian meats are a great addition to any party, especially on a charcuterie board with various types of cheese, bread, and sweet and savory ingredients! Continue reading for our guide on cured Italian meats for entertaining this summer.


Coppa is made from the neck or shoulder of a pig. Coppa has a tender texture and is typically smoked and prepared with spices, herbs, salt, and sometimes wine.


Salami is a large sausage made with ground pork, cubes of fat, seasoned with garlic, salt, and spices, then stuffed into the pig’s large intestine. Salamino piccante, or spicy salamino (similar to salami but only 1-inch thick,) is made with red pepper that gives it a familiar orange cast. In the US, we recognize this as pepperoni.


Prosciutto, or dry-cured ham that is made from the back leg of a pig, can be divided into two broad categories, including dolce (sweet) and salato, casalingo, or Toscano, (salty, homemade, or Tuscan.) In Italy, it also comes in two different styles: prosciutto crudo (uncooked) or prosciutto cotto (cooked.)


Pancetta is another salt cured and spiced salumi (Italian cold cuts) made from the belly of a pig. It is made from the same cut used to make bacon, but instead of being smoked, it is typically fried and used as an ingredient in other dishes.


Lardo is thick fat with some thin streaks of red meat, cured with herbs (often rosemary) salt, and pepper. Lardo can be used as a flavoring ingredient by adding small chunks to dishes or wrapping thin slices around another cut of meat, or can be sliced paper-thin and served on toasted bread.


Sopressata is a sausage primarily made of leftover pork cuttings, such as pressed pork belly, tongue, stomach, and other parts of the pig that are stuffed into the skin of the animal and cooked. Sopressata can be spicy and have a different flavor but is an excellent meat for sandwiches.


Bresaola is a type of air-dried, lightly salted cured beef that has been aged for a few months. The curing process results in a hard, dark red meat that is lean and tender. It is often served in slices with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper.


Speck is an Italian cured, smoked meat made from a boned pork leg. The pork is cured in salt and spices, then intermittently slow-cooked for several months. Speck is typically either served thinly sliced as an appetizer or used to flavor various cooked dishes.

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!


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