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Keep Cured Meats Handy for Meals

Visit your local deli for simple cured meat treats

When you're in a hurry and don't want to fix a full meal, it's easy to reach in the fridge and choose from a selection of cured meats. They're tasty and not as pricy as you might think, especially when compared to other pre-packaged varieties.

You can put together a grazing tray for make-your-own sandwiches if you have other items on hand as well. Those would include cheese, lettuce varieties, sliced onions, and pickles. Remember the condiments, too.

When you're gazing at the meat selections, here are few you'll see frequently.

Perhaps the most familiar to many of us. We love that flavor, too. You'll see some recognizable names such as pepperoni and others that are less so, including finocchiona and soppressata. Any of these can be a blend of ground pig and often other meats. They may be infused with other ingredients such as garlic, spices, and even wine.

Jamon serrano
This is Spanish ham and it is ground from the forelegs and hindquarters of the pig. It is a dry-cured product that is first salted.

From Italy, this family includes many varieties such as di Parma. They are typically very thinly sliced and served cold.

You'll find these typically with a coating of paprika for a bit of spicy infusion.

Another Italian favorite.

You may also be lucky enough to stumble across German Black Forest ham, French Bayonne ham, and English York ham. Remember a most famous choice and that's Virginia hams.

In general, even when hams are dry-cured, they should be treated like poultry. Very carefully. Always wash before and after handling. If you want to reduce some of that salty flavoring, soak in water first, then pat and drain on paper towels.


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