Like other types of pig fat, fatback may be rendered to make a high quality lard, and is one source of
Fatback is an important element of traditional charcuterie. In several European cultures it is used to make specialty bacon. Containing no skeletal muscle, this bacon is a delicacy.
At one time fatback was Italy's basic cooking fat, especially in regions where olive trees are sparse or absent, but health concerns have reduced its popularity. However, it provides a rich, authentic flavour for the classic battuto – sautéed vegetables, herbs and flavourings – that forms the basis of many traditional dishes. Today, pancetta is often used instead.
Fatback is processed into slab bacon by many methods, including brine curing, dry curing, smoking,
|Salo with the rind on|
This fatback bacon is widely eaten throughout Europe. In Italy it is called lardo, and notable examples are Valle d'Aosta Lard d'Arnad and Lardo di Colonnata. In Ukraine, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union, it is called salo. In Hungary, where it is called szalonna, it is very popular for campfire cookouts (szalonnasütés). In Germany, where it is called Rückenspeck (back pork fat), it is one of two cuts known as Speck.
Fatback is a traditional part of southern US cuisine, soul food and traditional Cuisine of Quebec,
|Breaded and fried fatback|
Fatback is an important ingredient in notable traditional sausages including nduja, cudighi, and cotechino Modena.
|Homemade lard rendered from fatback|
In French cooking, very thinly sliced fatback is used to line the mold when making a terrine or pâté,
and thin strips of fatback are inserted under the skin of lean gamebirds for roasting. These techniques are barding and larding, respectively, and in both the fatback is used without the rind. Fatback also is used to make lardons, salt pork, and lard.