I recently dined at Zuppa, 2007 winner of the San Francisco Boss of the Sauce competition where I was introduced to the best thing since bacon: speck. I was so excited after dinner that I got on the phone and called all my bacon fanatic friends to tell them I’d met bacon’s match.
Also called Speck dell’Alto Adige, it is a delightful thinly sliced Italian meat that has characteristics of both bacon and prosciutto. The wikipedia entry on speck says that this meat has been around since the fourteenth century. It’s both salt-cured and wood smoked and comes from the hind-leg of the pig.
We tried it by itself as an appetizer and for an entrée I had roasted quail wrapped in speck. My toes curled! I’d never even heard of this fabulous treat, but it was definitely love at first bite.
Since then, I’ve been on the look-out for a pound of speck. I hear that they sell it at Lucca. I’ll keep you updated once I get my hands on some. I’ll certainly blog my kitchen experiments with it!