Italian cheese board

The Ultimate Guide to Italian Meats & Cheese

It is no secret that Italians love meat and cheese. Here in America, the popularity of creating intricate charcuterie boards has snowballed over recent years. These boards double as a work of art and a delicious appetizer for a gathering. Many of the commonly used meats and cheeses originated in Italy. Read our ultimate guide to Italian meats and cheeses to use for your next charcuterie board creation!

Italian Meats 

The best thing about Italian meats is that there are many variations and different ways to create unique flavors. Italian meats can be cooked, raw, cured, or aged for long periods. Although these meats are produced all over Italy, each region has a different way of making the perfect cold cut. All are delicious in their own unique way. We have listed some of the most popular Italian meats below: 

  • Prosciutto: This meat is thinly sliced, salt-cured ham that can be either sweet or salty. Prosciutto is eaten raw and typically served on pizzas, salads, sandwiches, or alone. 
  • Salami: This delicious sausage is made with pork, cubs of fat, and several different spices. Salami is thinly sliced and paired with sharp cheeses. 
  • Pancetta: Pancetta is dried meat that is made with either sweet or smokey flavors. It can be used to make the savory bacon bits that are crumbled on carbonara or other pasta dishes. 
  • Salsiccia: Salsiccia is made with similar ingredients as salami. You can enjoy this meat raw on sandwiches and cheese boards or cooked in Italian dishes. 

Italian Cheeses 

Cheese is one of the most essential ingredients used on almost every Italian dish. Italy is the birthplace of some of the best cheeses that have ever been created, and are used abundantly around the world. These cheeses are not only used in cooking and garnish but also eaten alone on cheese boards. Here are a few of the commonly used cheese on charcuterie boards!

  • Mozzarella: This widely popular cheese is a must-have addition to your cheeseboard. It is a soft ball of creamy, mild cheese that was created in Naples, Italy using the rich milk from water buffalos. 
  • Parmigiano: Parmesan cheese is commonly sprinkled on top of Italian pasta dishes. However, this sharp cheese is also perfect for a cheeseboard. This cheese gets its amazing flavor from the years of aging. 
  • Gorgonzola: Gorgonzola is an acquired taste but can be a unique addition to your Italian cheeseboard. It is a creamy blue cheese made with goat’s milk and aged for at least two months. 

Visit Nico for Italian Meats and Cheeses!

Here at Nico, we offer the “Antipasto all’Italiano, which is our assortment of Italian cheeses and salami. Join us here in the North End in Boston to get a taste of the amazing meats and cheeses that the Italians created!


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