The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat speck. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What speck etiquette is

Speck etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat speck. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve speck to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat speck at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat speck

What you should know about speck

Speck is a type of cured meat that originated in the Tyrol region of Italy and Austria. It is made from the hind leg of a pig and is similar to prosciutto.

Speck has a dark red color and a marbled appearance due to the layers of fat and meat. It has a slightly smoky aroma and a rich, savory flavor. The texture is tender and fatty, with a slightly chewy outer layer.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat speck

1) How to store speck

Store the speck in a cool and dry place away from sunlight. The ideal temperature for storing speck is between 2-8°C (36-46°F). To store speck in the pantry, wrap it in butcher paper or plastic wrap and keep it for up to a month. In the fridge, it can last for up to six months if stored in an airtight container. In the freezer, it can last for up to a year if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or freezer paper.

Store sliced or cooked speck in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

2) How to clean speck

There is no need to clean the speck, as it is already cured and ready to eat. However, it is important to handle it with clean hands and tools to avoid contamination.

You can tell if speck has turned bad if it develops a sour or off odor or if there is any mold or discoloration on the surface.

3) How to prepare & cook speck

Speck can be eaten raw or cooked. To prepare the speck for cooking, simply slice it thinly and remove any rind. It can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as pan-frying, grilling, or baking. Common utensils for cooking speck include a frying pan, grill pan, or oven. Popular dishes with speck include pasta dishes, pizza, and soups.

Some popular dishes with speck include speck dumplings, pasta with speck and peas, and speck pizza.

Speck can be a great addition to salads and sandwiches. Speck is not suitable for vegan or vegetarian diets. It is appropriate for keto and paleo diets. Some guests may not eat speck due to religious dietary restrictions.

4) How to serve & present speck

Speck can be appropriate for both formal and informal meals. You can serve it as a side dish, appetizer, or main course.

It is best to serve speck at room temperature. You can present it on a wooden board or a plate, and serve it with a sharp knife for slicing. It is most appropriate to slice speck thin.

The ideal accompaniments with speck are bread, cheese, olives, and pickles. Some popular seasonings include black pepper and rosemary.

5) Food and wine to pair speck with

Speck pairs well with a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as arugula, figs, and pears. It does not pair well with citrus fruits or tropical fruits.

Speck pairs well with cheese and dairy, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano and ricotta. It pairs well with other meats, such as beef and lamb. It does not typically pair well with fish.

Speck pairs well with red wines, such as Pinot Noir and Chianti. It also pairs well with white wines, such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. It can also pair with beer and spirits.

6) How to eat speck

It is polite to eat speck with a fork and knife. It is not common to eat it with the fingers. You can eat the fat but you should discard the rind.

Speck etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common speck etiquette mistakes:

  • 7/10. Cutting speck too thick or too thin.
  • 6/10. Serving speck at the wrong temperature.
  • 5/10. Picking speck up with your fingers.
  • 4/10. Serving speck in the wrong dish.

Additional information for properly serving speck

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

Speck contains approximately 130-140 calories per serving (about 40 grams) and around 300-350 calories per 100 grams.

How to buy the best speck

A crucial factor in speck etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Speck is available all year round, but the best season to buy it is in the winter months when it is freshly made.

Choose the best

Speck can be found in various forms in commerce, including fresh, vacuum-sealed, pre-sliced, and canned.

The most popular varieties of speck in commerce are the Speck Alto Adige PGI and the Tyrolean Speck PGI. These are also the most prized varieties due to their strict production guidelines and unique flavor profiles.

To buy the best speck, look for products that are labeled with the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) certification, indicating that it has been produced according to strict guidelines. Good quality speck should be firm to the touch, have a deep red color, and have a smoky aroma.

Alternatives to speck

Some common alternatives to speck include bacon, prosciutto, and pancetta. These can be used in similar ways in cooking, but they have distinct flavors and textures.


  • Sensory characteristics and volatile compounds of dry cured ham Speck are affected by pig dietary supplementation with antioxidant mixture: