Americans love bacon. Italians love Pancetta. The two are both made from pork belly . They can be used interchangeably in some dishes. The differences between the two vary according to how they are prepared and cured. For centuries, Italians have been making some of the highest-quality cured meats in Europe. Up to a few years only a few Italian pork products were approved for import to the U.S.: several types of prosciutto and mortadella. The USDA feared swine vesicular disease and cured meats had to be made in America. Thankfully, now we can enjoy cured meats from home and abroad.