Are you a meat eater? Love pancetta? Well, you do or you don’t, you ought to know if the calories in pancetta are more than your American bacon and if it is a healthy addition to your pizza or pasta.
For those of you who are not sure what is a pancetta, it is non-smoked Italian bacon, seasoned with salt and other spices. It is moist and tender in comparison to bacon and is quite subtle in flavor. Typically, you will find the pancetta ot Italian bacon sold in supermarkets to be either rolled (rotolata) or flat in thin strips (stesa), colored pink or pale red or auburn. Spiraling the pasta binds the fat and muscle together, giving it a better flavor. It may be later cut into cubes, to cook. In Italy, the strip variety is quite common and the fat tends to collect on one side so you may slice it out of your pork. Your packaged Italian bacon can be anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks depending on the storage conditions and temperature. The only similarity pancetta shares with bacon is that they both come from the belly of the pig and are rich in fats.
However, pancetta is allowed to age naturally for about 3 months before processing, until it is tough enough. It is generally cooked with one or more of these ingredients; pasta, eggs, other meats, vegetables, sauces and cheese. It may also be used in a seafood recipe. Italian bacon adds richness to the dish. You may be familiar with dishes containing Italian bacon such as Sugo all’amatriciana and pasta with pancetta. Often, it is not cooked, but added raw to the recipe. Since American pork tends to shrink and contains a lot of grease, pancetta is a preferred choice, especially in Spain and Croatia.
Several parts of Italy have acquired a protected geographical status for their distinct recipe for pancetta, making it illegal for the rest of the world to manufacture pancetta with such a recipe. Much has been said in praise of this Italian meat, but do you know how many calories are there in pancetta or what is its nutritional value? Let’s take a look at such facts on this tasty pork.
|Pancetta Nutritional Value|
|Total Fat||33 g|
|Saturated Fat||11 g|
*Serving size=100 g; DV is daily value
Calories in Pancetta
An ounce or 28 g of this pork dish contains about 100 calories. Of these, calories derived from fat are variable. Most brands contain between 2 g to 9 g fat. Lower fat means lesser calories, so your Italian bacon can contain as less as 57 calories in an ounce, depending on the fat content. It generally contains no trans fat, is casein free and dairy free. Also, it is low in carbohydrates, making it quite a healthy choice of meat. Spices that are used to season it are mostly garlic, sea salt, nutmeg, cloves, hot pepper and fennel. Traces of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous can also be found.
To burn the calories that you just consumed with 47 g of pancetta in your entrée, you could go for a 20-minute run or a rope jumping session, 2 hours post your meal. A 45-minute yoga or Pilates session will burn just as many calories for you. If you are cooking a recipe at home, you should buy it from a brand that gives quality assurance. A lot of people are divided on pancetta vs bacon and often end up substituting them for each other. Real Italians never cook their food like that! I’d suggest that you buy pancetta that has been made in Italy or Spain as the pigs are traditionally raised and cared for, making it less likely for the pork to be contaminated with diseases. If you are allergic to gluten, this pork dish is a good choice of meat as it is gluten-free. However, while buying, do check the label as different brands have different nutritional values for the same food. If you cannot find it in your local supermarket or an Italian market, you can substitute it with bacon as a last resort. Don’t forget to boil it.
Disclaimer: The nutritional value of pancetta varies with each brand. You may rely on information as specified by the manufacturer on the label of the product.