business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday we posted an email from an MNB reader who corrected an analogy I used.  I asked the question, what is spaghetti carbonara without pancetta?   MNB reader Philip Bradley wrote:

Kevin—just to let you know— 🙂 — real Italians use Speck and not Pancetta for Carbonara!  But it is still a good analogy…

This prompted an email from Italy, from my friend Beatrice Orlandini:


Are you kidding me?????

Speck is smoked ham from Alto Adige, the northernmost region in Italy, where the second official language is German.

Carbonara comes from Lazio (that's where Rome is…)  We're talking about Central Italy, like about 800 km down.

Pancetta (smoked or sweet?) is tolerated by amateurs.

But the real recipe requires guanciale (the cheek).

You can't mess around with Italian food.

Point taken.  I'm an amateur.