Italy has an high quality production of cured meat, which can be divided in three types: raw aged cured meat (coppa, pancetta, bresaola, guanciale); ham and cooked cured meats (mortadella, cotechino).
The production of cured meat can be very different in every region of Italy. Every region uses different mix of spices or it produces typical salumi.
Thanks to the introduction of the acronyms DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) and IGP (Protected Geografical Information ) to protect the origin and the peculiarities of typical products, today are 31 the italian cured meat products which have reiceived these identification such as Coppa Piacentina, Bresaola della Valtellina, Pancetta Piacentina, Capocollo di Calabria, Mortadella di Bologna e Lardo di Colonnata.
Cured meat products can range in size from tiny to imposing; they can be delicate or fiercely hot; they can be spreadable or hard; they may be best eaten raw, with a slab of bread, or be meant for cooking.