The Ultimate Foodie Guide: The 11 Finest Tuscan Cured Meats You Must Try!

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Silvana Lanzetta

Written by Silvana Lanzetta


Uncover the secrets behind the exquisite world of Tuscan cured meats, where centuries-old techniques and artistry combine to create mouthwatering flavours. Journey through the picturesque Tuscan landscape and explore the unique, region-specific specialties that define this beloved corner of Italian cuisine. Get ready to experience the rich, savoury, and irresistibly delicious taste of Tuscan cured meats, each with their own story to tell.

Cinta senese pig

Cinta Senese Pig

Tuscany landscape with fir trees
magazine 18

Tuscan cuisine is a celebration of simplicity, where humble ingredients transform into culinary masterpieces, capturing the heart and soul of the region.

Tuscan Cured Meats: A Culinary Highlight

Prepare to embark on an enchanting gastronomic adventure through the captivating world of Tuscan cuisine! Brace yourself to be mesmerized by the incredible craftsmanship and sheer joy of these beautifully prepared dishes. Tuscan food tells a story of humble origins, where creative individuals transformed basic ingredients into delectable works of edible art, triumphing over adversity. And amidst this delightful culinary journey, get ready to be amazed by the hidden treasures – the tantalizing Tuscan cured meats, offering an unforgettable experience of indulgent flavours and savoury perfection.

Prosciutto and coppa
Tuscan cured meats platter

Each city its own food

What I love most about Tuscany is that each city has its own distinct culinary identity. Take Florence, for instance, which is renowned for its mouthwatering steak, hearty ribollita, and delectable tripe. Or Prato, where you’ll find a different style of cuisine altogether, featuring the irresistible crunch of cantucci cookies dipped in sweet vin santo wine.

And let’s not forget Pistoia, where simplicity reigns supreme in dishes like their delicious giblet soup. Known as “the prisoner’s soup,” this dish was supposedly invented by inmates who used humble ingredients like dry bread, water, and giblets to create a tasty and satisfying meal.


Curing meat is an art

Now, when it comes to Tuscan cured meats, the passion for quality and tradition is truly an art form. Take the famous Cinta Senese, for example. This prized pig breed, known for its dark coat and distinctive white band, must be raised in wild or semi-wild conditions to preserve its exceptional flavour. This attention to detail and dedication to time-honoured techniques is what makes Tuscan cured meats so special.

So, why not embark on a culinary adventure and explore the tantalising world of Tuscan cuisine? You’ll be delighted by the simple, yet skillfully prepared flavours that await you!


scroll down to discover the tastiest tuscan cured meats

platter of tuscan cured meats

Your 11 delicious Tuscan cured meats

Discover the rich flavours of Tuscan cured meats, each boasting a unique taste and texture.

Explore the regional specialties listed below, perfect for enjoying alongside a selection of cheeses and a glass of wine.

  1. Prosciutto Toscano D.O.P. – A flavorful and aromatic Tuscan ham, dry-cured with a blend of spices.
  2. Prosciutto di Cinta Senese D.O.P. – A savoury ham made from the prized Cinta Senese breed of pig, known for its tender and delicate flavour.
  3. Lardo di Colonnata I.G.P. – A delectable, melt-in-your-mouth cured pork fatback, seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices.
  4. Salame Toscano – A traditional Tuscan salami, characterised by its coarsely ground texture and robust flavour.
  5. Finocchiona I.G.P. – A classic fennel-infused Tuscan salami, offering a distinctive and aromatic taste.
  6. Salsiccia di Cinghiale della Maremma – A flavorful wild boar sausage from the Maremma region, often seasoned with juniper and red wine.
  7. Sbriciolona di Cinta Senese – A crumbly and delicious salami made from the Cinta Senese pig, typically flavoured with fennel seeds and black pepper.
  8. Capocchia Toscana or Soppressata – A rustic Tuscan head cheese, made from various cuts of pork, often including the head, and seasoned with spices.
  9. Capocollo Toscano – A traditional Tuscan cured pork neck, boasting a delicate and mildly spiced flavour.
  10. Guanciale Toscano – A flavorful Tuscan cured pork jowl, often used to impart a rich taste in traditional pasta dishes.
  11. Pancetta Stesa – A thinly sliced, flat Tuscan pancetta, prized for its savoury and versatile flavour.

You’re now an expert on the scrumptious world of Tuscan cured meats! So, let’s bring the magic of those picturesque rolling hills to your own kitchen by creating the most amazing cold cuts platter. Trust me, with the tips I’m about to share, you’ll feel like you’ve been instantly transported to the heart of Tuscany


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Silvana Lanzetta

Silvana Lanzetta

“Ciao, I’m Silvana, a fourth-generation pasta artisan from Napoli with a lifetime of experience! I began making pasta at the tender age of 5 under the watchful eye of my pasta-making generalissimo, my granny. Through her guidance, I’ve become a master in crafting traditional pasta dishes. Since 2014, I have been teaching pasta making classes in London, sharing my expertise with aspiring pasta enthusiasts. I’ve also had the privilege of showcasing my knowledge on BBC and in national newspapers like The Sun and iNews, and held pasta making demonstration in Harrods. Join me in exploring the world of Italian pasta and let’s create unforgettable culinary experiences together!”Artisan Pasta Maker & Food Writer

My top 5 tips for creating the perfect cold cuts and cheese platter

  1. Variety is key! Mix and match cured meats with different flavours and textures – some lean, some fatty – to make sure there’s something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
  2. Balance the selection with both raw (think prosciutto, speck, salami) and cooked (mortadella, cooked ham) cured meats for a well-rounded platter.
  3. For an unforgettable cheese experience, offer a tasting of 3-5 types, arranged from the mildest to the boldest, and from the freshest to the most aged.
  4. Elevate your platter with sweet additions like jams, honey, and fruit. Since cheese is sugar-free, these pairings create the perfect balance of flavours.
  5. Last but not least, don’t forget to serve fresh bread and a glass of good wine to round out the experience and keep the conversation flowing!


What are cured meats in Tuscany?

In Tuscany, several cured meats are popular and integral to the region’s culinary tradition. Some of the well-known cured meats from Tuscany include:

1. Finocchiona: A type of salami flavoured with fennel seeds, giving it a distinct aniseed flavour.

2. Prosciutto Toscano: Tuscan-style cured ham, typically made from locally raised pigs and seasoned with herbs.

3. Salame Toscano: Another Tuscan salami, often seasoned with garlic, black pepper, and sometimes red wine.

4. Lardo di Colonnata: Cured pork fat aged in marble containers with garlic, rosemary, and other spices, originating from the village of Colonnata.

5. Soppressata Toscana: A spicy Tuscan salami made with coarsely ground pork and seasoned with chilli peppers.

These cured meats are enjoyed both on their own as antipasti or incorporated into various Tuscan dishes, adding depth of flavour and richness to the cuisine of the region.

What cured meat is native to Italy?

Italy boasts a rich variety of native cured meats, each with its own regional specialties and traditions. Some of the most renowned Italian cured meats include:

1. Prosciutto di Parma: A dry-cured ham produced in the Parma region of Emilia-Romagna.

2. Prosciutto di San Daniele: Another type of dry-cured ham, originating from the town of San Daniele del Friuli in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

3. Salami Milano: A type of salami hailing from Milan, typically made with pork and seasoned with garlic and black pepper.

4. Salami Toscano: A Tuscan salami seasoned with garlic, black pepper, and sometimes fennel seeds.

5. Culatello: A prized cured meat made from the muscular part of the pig’s thigh, produced mainly in the Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy regions.

6. Guanciale: Cured pork cheek or jowl, often used in pasta dishes like pasta all’amatriciana and pasta alla carbonara, originating from central Italy.

7. Mortadella: A large Italian sausage originating from Bologna, traditionally flavoured with spices and cubes of pork fat.

8. Coppa: Cured pork shoulder or neck, seasoned with herbs and spices, and aged to develop its flavour, common in various regions across Italy.

9. Pancetta: Cured pork belly, often used as a flavourful ingredient in Italian cooking.

10. Speck: A type of smoked prosciutto, typically made in South Tyrol and Trentino-Alto Adige regions.

These are just a few examples of the diverse range of cured meats native to Italy, each contributing to the country’s culinary heritage with its unique flavours and craftsmanship.

What are Italian cured meats called?

Italian cured meats are commonly known as “salumi” or “charcuterie.” These meats are preserved through processes such as drying, smoking, or salting, resulting in distinctive flavours and textures. Some popular types of Italian cured meats include prosciutto (cured ham), salami (cured sausage), coppa (cured pork neck or shoulder), bresaola (air-dried beef), and pancetta (cured pork belly). Salumi are often enjoyed as antipasti (appetisers), incorporated into sandwiches, or used as ingredients in pasta dishes and salads. They are a key component of Italian culinary tradition and are celebrated for their rich taste and versatility.

What is Toscana meat?

“Toscana meat” refers to a type of meat typically associated with Tuscany, a region in central Italy known for its culinary traditions. Toscana meat can encompass various types of meats commonly used in Tuscan cuisine, such as beef, pork, and game meats like wild boar. These meats are often prepared in traditional Tuscan dishes like bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak), porchetta (roast pork), and cinghiale in umido (stewed wild boar). Toscana meat is prized for its flavour and often forms the basis of hearty and rustic Italian dishes.


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