Sliced uncooked pancetta
Pancetta Is Pricey, But There Are More Affordable Options To Try
Pancetta is Italian salt-cured pork belly meat full of fat and flavor, loved for its salty taste and silky texture. However, both in and outside of Italy, it can be quite pricey.
Pancetta's high price is the result of its long, multi-step curing process. Just 3.5 ounces of pancetta can cost $8.99 at a grocery store, while 16 ounces of bacon costs $7.49.
Bacon is a cheaper option that offers most of the qualities of pancetta. It's a salty, fatty pork belly product that is salt-cured and sometimes smoked, though not seasoned.
Prosciutto is another pancetta alternative. Unlike bacon, prosciutto can be eaten raw or cooked, so it's an ideal swap for pancetta in salads and charcuterie boards.
Texture-wise, prosciutto is thinner than pancetta with less fat and moisture, so it shouldn't be cooked too long. Though it's the priciest swap, it's still cheaper than pancetta.
Salami is an even more affordable, highly fatty option, typically eaten straight out of the package. It may be even fattier than pancetta, so use it with discretion.