With over 500 varieties of olives, Italy offers the largest range of olive oils in the world, with various flavor profiles. The uniqueness of Italian olive oil is that each region cultivates the olives very specific to its land. The most renowned varieties include Nocellara from Sicily, Coratina and Peranzana from Puglia, Moraiolo and Frantoio from Tuscany, and Itrana from Lazio.
Cured meat plays a prominent role in the Italian antipasto, meaning "before the meal". sliced cured meats, traditionally consist of: Bresaola, Capicolla, Coppa, Culatello, Guanciale, Lardo, Mortadella, Pancetta, Porchetta, Prosciutto, Salame, Sopressata, Speck.
Bresaola is air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple colour. It is made from top round, and is lean and tender, with a sweet, musty smell.
The culatello is made from the boned hind muscle of a pig's thigh, usually used to make prosciutto.
Capocollo, coppa, or capicola is a traditional Italian and Corsican pork cold cut made from the dry-cured muscle running from the neck to the fourth or fifth rib of the pork shoulder or neck.
Guanciale is an Italian cured meat product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks. Its name is derived from guancia, Italian for cheek.
Lardo is a type of salumi made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices. The most famous lardo is from the Tuscan hamlet of Colonnata, where lardo has been made since Roman times.
Mortadella is a large Italian sausage or luncheon meat made of finely hashed or ground, heat-cured pork, which incorporates at least 15% small cubes of pork fat. Mortadella is a product of Bologna, Italy.
Pancetta is an Italian bacon made of pork belly meat, that is salt cured and spiced with black pepper, and sometimes other spices. Pancetta in Italy is typically consumed raw.
Porchetta is a savoury, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition. The carcass is deboned, arranged carefully stuffed with liver, wild fennel, all fat and skin still on spitted and/or roasted, traditionally over wood for 8+ hours