Speck is a type of cured and smoked ham from northern Italy. During curing, it is spiced with juniper and bay leaves, this process gives the meat its rich, deep flavour. As speck is cured it can be eaten without being cooked. It is quite similar to prosciutto as it is sliced finely but its texture is slightly firmer, it has a stronger taste and has a deeper red colour.
Speck is from the Province of Bolzano in northern Italy. Bolzano borders both Austria and Switzerland this is very apparent in their food culture.
Speck is cured like prosciutto but after it is gently smoked at a low temperature. This process can go on for several months. This process guarantees the final product retains the unique flavours acquired in the curing process.
Due to its wonderful flavour, speck is a great addition for any antipasti plate alongside some bread, cheese and pickle. Not to mention its salty flavour provides a wonderful contacting flavour when eaten with sweet fruits such as honeydew melon.
In general, there are about 300 calories per 100 grams of speck. Speck also contains considerable amounts of protein and fats. As for vitamins and minerals; vitamin B is present as well as amounts of sodium, potassium, iron and zinc.
Like all cured meats speck should be enjoyed in moderation because of its high fat and salt content. Overconsumption of fatty meats can lead to heart disease and other health problems.