Heritage breed Tamworth pigs are known for their thick bellies and excellent fat. In other words, they’re great for bacon. And pancetta, despite the Italian name, is bacon through and through.
These particular beauties were raised without hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics at the Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative in Osage County, Missouri. Back in Iowa, at the pork palace known as La Quercia, the bellies were dry cured with sea salt, pepper and spices. Dry curing—something rarely done with American pork bellies any more since it reduces moisture and weight—makes a much more intensely flavored cut than brine curing, the typical process.
Tamworth’s flavor is concentrated, meaty and nutty. It's smoked over apple wood, which gives it a welcome sweetness not found in dry cured bacons which are smoked over pungent hickory. This is my pick for best new bacon. Even though it's not called bacon. But it is.
Note that this comes unsliced. You'll need to do some home carving.