Prosciutto vs. Speck: Which Italian Cured Meat Is Best & Why?

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When it comes to Italian cured meats, Prosciutto and Speck stand out above the rest. Both are delicious, but which one is the best? Prosciutto and Speck are both Italian cured meats, but they are made with different types of pork and spices.

Prosciutto and speck differ in meat type and spices. Prosciutto, made from pork hind leg, is a dry-cured ham typically thinly sliced, serving as an appetizer. Contrarily, speck is a smoked ham often used in pasta and pizza. It is made from the front leg, having a milder flavor than Prosciutto.

Let’s explore Prosciutto vs. Speck – their similarities, differences, and which one is best to help you decide the best food for you.

Nutrition Value Of Prosciutto (per serving)Nutrition Value Of Speck (per serving)
Calories 64.8Calories 70
Total Fat 4gTotal Fat 3.5g
Cholesterol 24mgCholesterol 15mg
Sodium 769mgSodium 480mg
Potassium 145mgPotassium 145mg
Carbohydrates 0.1gTotal Carbohydrates 0.1g
Dietary Fiber 0gDietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0gSugars 0g
Protein 6.5gProtein 9g.

Prosciutto vs. Speck: All You Need to Know

With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be wondering what type of ham to buy for your family feast. Unfortunately, there are so many different types of ham available that it can be hard to know which one is best. Two popular options are Prosciutto and Speck. But what’s the difference?

1. Prosciutto

prosciutto vs speck

Prosciutto is a delicious Italian ham often enjoyed as a wrapped appetizer or added to pizza and pasta dishes.

Prosciutto is made from pork legs. It is salt-cured and then dried for three to four months, having a delicate flavor and a slightly salty taste. It is often thinly sliced and served as an appetizer.

You may ask, how is Prosciutto made? It’s indeed a delicate process.

The first step in making Prosciutto is to choose the right pork legs from a healthy pig that has been well-fed. They are then trimmed off any excess fat and salt-cured for about two weeks.

After the curing process, the ham is washed and dried. It is then hung to age for three to four months. During this time, the ham will lose weight.

Once it has aged properly, the Prosciutto is ready to be thinly sliced, enjoyed on its own, or added to your favorite dishes.

2. Speck


Speck is a type of cured meat popular in Germany and Austria. It is made from pork leg that has been salted and smoked.

You can use it in various dishes such as pasta or pizza, where its smoky flavor can enhance the other ingredients. You can also slice them thin and enjoy them as an appetizer.

The process of making Speck is similar to Prosciutto. First, the pork legs are trimmed of excess fat and salt-cured for about two weeks. They are then washed and dried.

After that, the ham is smoked for two weeks. That gives Speck its distinctive smoky flavor. Once smoked, the ham is dried for four to five months.

Prosciutto vs. Speck: The Detailed Discussion

Prosciutto vs. Speck The Detailed Discussion

As we now know about the meats and how they are made, let’s step ahead and have a detailed discussion on prosciutto vs. speck.

1. Similarities

Prosciutto and Speck are two great options for adding a little salty, smoky flavor to your dishes. But what’s the difference between them? And which one is right for you?

Here’s a look at the similarities between Prosciutto and Speck.

  • Made From Pork Legs

Most people know about Prosciutto and Speck but may not know that both are taken from pork legs. However, prosciutto is made from the hind leg, while Speck is made from the upper front leg.

Speck has more fat than Prosciutto and is smoked for a longer time, which gives it a smokier flavor. Both portions of meat are dry-cured and can be stored for months without refrigeration.

  • Both Are Salt-Cured

Prosciutto and Speck are salt-cured types of ham. However, speck is a little saltier than Prosciutto, but both are delicious.

Salt in both is used to preserve the meat and for flavor. The salt also helps to keep the meat from spoiling.

  • Both Are Dry-Cured

Prosciutto and Speck are dry-cured types of ham. They are cured without the use of any water.

The curing process also helps preserve the meat, save from spoiling, and flavor it.

  • Both Are Thinly Sliced

Prosciutto and Speck are both thinly sliced. It makes them easy to add to recipes or enjoy on their own. The thin slices also help to preserve the flavor of the meat.

2. Differences

Let’s check the dissimilarities now.

  • Made From A Different Side Of Pig

Pork leg is indeed the source of prosciutto and speck. Prosciutto is made from the hind leg, while Speck is made from the upper front leg.

  • Smoked

Prosciutto is not smoked, while Speck is. Typically, speck is smoked for two weeks, which gives it a smokier flavor. Smoking the meat also helps to preserve it.

  • Saltier

Speck is saltier than Prosciutto. Salt is used for flavor and preservation. The salt also helps to keep the meat from spoiling.

  • Dry-Cured For A Longer Time

Prosciutto is dry-cured for three to four months, while Speck is dry-cured for four to five months. 

  • Speck Has More Fat

Prosciutto has less fat than Speck. This is because Prosciutto is made from the hind leg, with less fat.

How To Serve Prosciutto

How To Serve Prosciutto

If you’re looking for an elegant and easy appetizer to serve at your next gathering, look no further than Prosciutto. This cured ham is simple to prepare and can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various toppings.

As An Appetizer

Prosciutto makes a great appetizer. It can be served with- 

  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Vegetables
  • Melon
  • Prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe.

The main dish

Prosciutto can also be served as a main dish too. It is often served with-

  • Pasta
  • Risotto
  • Salad
  • Sandwiches
  • Wraps.

As A Topping

Prosciutto makes an excellent topping for pizza or salads. You can also use it to top off your favorite dishes.

As A Garnish

Prosciutto can be used to garnish a variety of dishes. It is often used to garnish pasta, risotto, or salad.

How To Serve Speck?

How To Serve Speck

Speck is a type of smoked ham popular in Germany and other parts of Europe. It can be served as a main dish or appetizer, and there are many different ways to prepare it.

Cold Speck

Speck can be served cold or hot. If you are serving it cold, you can slice it thin and serve it with several items –

  • various meats
  • Cheeses
  • Vegetables.

Hot Speck

If you are serving it hot, you can fry it or bake it. Speck is also often used as an ingredient in recipes such as-

  • Pasta dishes
  • Pizzas
  • Stews.

When serving Speck, it is essential to remember that it is very fatty meat. This means that you should not overcook it, making it even fattier. Instead, the speck should be cooked until it is done and then allowed to rest for a few minutes before serving. That will help to ensure that it is juicy and flavorful.

If you are looking for a delicious and easy way to add some flavor to your next meal, consider trying Speck. It is a versatile meat that can be served in many different ways, and it is sure to please everyone at the table.


  • Is Speck The Same As Prosciutto?

Speck and Prosciutto are both types of ham, but they are not the same. Speck is smoked and cured, while Prosciutto is dry-cured. Prosciutto is also smoother in texture than Speck. It is also a little saltier than Prosciutto. If you’re looking for a salty, smoky taste, speck is the right choice for you, but if you want a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, Prosciutto is the better option.

  • Is Speck Better Than Prosciutto?

That’s a tough question to answer. Both have unique flavors that some people prefer over others. So it depends on your taste.

Prosciutto has a delicate and slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with various foods. It’s also incredibly versatile. You can enjoy it on its own, use it in recipes, or even wrap it around other ingredients.

Speck, on the other hand, is quite smoky and salty. So while it’s delicious, it can be a bit overpowering. That being said, speck is still a great cured meat to enjoy.

So, which one is better? The answer is: it depends on your personal preference. If you like smoky, salty flavors, then go for Speck. But if you prefer a more delicate flavor, Prosciutto is the way to go. Whichever cured meat you choose, you’re sure to enjoy it.

  • Is Speck The Same As Parma Ham?

If you’re wondering if Speck is the same as Parma ham, no. Speck and Parma ham are both types of ham, but they come from different parts of the world. For example, prosciutto di Parma is a specific type of Prosciutto that comes from the Parma region in Italy. 

On the other hand, Speck is a smoked and cured meat from Germany. Although they’re both delicious, these two cured slices of meat are quite different. They have different flavors, textures, and colors. So, no, Speck and Parma ham are not the same.

Final Words

Prosciutto vs. speck: there are many similarities and differences between the two. But both are undoubtedly delicious on their own. Prosciutto is dry-cured while Speck is smoked and cured. Prosciutto is also smoother in texture and slightly sweeter in flavor.

But which one is best? Well, it purely depends on you. If you’re looking for a salty, smoky taste, go for Speck. But if you prefer a more delicate flavor, Prosciutto is the better option.

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