Unlike most words in the Italian language, speck does not end with a vowel, and is spelled with the unusual (for Italians) combination of ck. This masculine singular noun is pronounced SPAYK and comes from the root speck / spec / spek, all words in older Germanic dialects that mean fat or lard.
Lo speck is made from the hind leg of pigs and is therefore closer to prosciutto than it is to lard. Its preparation requires a combination of salt-curing, air-drying, and smoking to obtain the final product.
Lo speck is a distinctly Italian salume [cured meat], and its Germanic name is explained by the fact that it’s produced in the Alto Adige (aka South Tyrol) region, which shares a border with Austria.
Fans of lo speck can celebrate with its producers at the annual Speck Festival.
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