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Cured Meats and Antipasto: A Prelude to an Exciting Meal

Appetizers Using Cured Meats – Casual Eating

Truly, much of the human successes has come from a motivation of necessity. The ingenious use of salt to prevent spoilage of meat antedates written history. The Mesopotamians used it to extend the life of their meats and fish as early as 3000 B.C.E.

Meanwhile, smoking  is an ancient method of food preservation. Archaeological evidence indicates that people in the medieval Europe during the 9th century smoked their meats slaughtered in the fall to last through the winter. Today, salting and smoking still continue to be practiced – though not so much to preserve meats, but for the interesting flavor that smoke adds and the quaint taste that are created for cured meats.

cured meatIt never fails to remind people of their childhood and family traditions. While this is “very Europe,” cured meat have successfully colonized the American dinner tables and the international market so that cured meats perfected in time has now invaded the world.

Such has been accounted in the Huffington Post – Food/Taste Section. If one wants to understand Cured Meats: The Difference Between Prosciutto, Jamon Iberico And More one only need to read this article.

Cured meats are not really a big part of our culinary history in the U.S., but they’re quickly making their way into our high-end restaurants and supermarkets. And we should be thankful for this meat migration. These meats, Europe’s answer to the cold cut, are rich and savory, complex and refined in flavor. European cured meats have been processed the same way for hundreds of years — which means they’ve been perfected.

The curing process is different for each type of meat, but it generally involves washing and salting the meat, and hanging it to dry. This process will take at least several months, and can even take a couple of years. And while many European cured meats are still made the old fashioned way, some of them have changed with the times (which is not always a good thing). This means that nitrates, nitrites and sodium, which are pumped and loaded in most American deli meats, can unfortunately often be found in many of these cured meats.

Cured meats or tapas in Europe – Spain, Italy and France – are commonly served as part of a meal as an antipasto or aperitif.

Cured Meats As Appetizers

This is the appetizer for the Americans that open up the palate for more savory dishes.

This can also be used add flavor, body and excitement to otherwise plain and simple greens or pasta. It gives unannounced and quick dinners a dash of relish that make it a pleasurable experience.

Pancetta, pepperoni, cacciatore, prosciutto, salame, and bresaola – these are just some of those cured meats that can give your unexpected dinner guests a surprisingly simple, but zesty meal anytime with some cheeses, bread and salad.

Other Uses For Cured Meats

Add cured meats to pasta, eggs or whatever is in the kitchen and it will be an effortless dinner affair that is most welcome any day.

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