Tag Archives: breakfast

A Bounty of Bacon

BACON! Okay, now that I have your attention let’s have a little chat, because bacon is a bit more complicated than you thought. One of the few cured meats that is meant to be cooked, bacon is most famous in the United States for its place on the breakfast plate. To get there, bacon goes through a multistep process that can involve curing, smoking, and pan frying (ah, the sizzling). This bacon is usually belly, and is almost always smoked. In fact, most of the unique flavors between different American bacons come from the wood used in the smoking process. The tradition of bacon for breakfast comes from the British Isles, where the most common kind of “rashers” are cut from the loin (think more like Canadian bacon). Leaner than the belly, this is a bacon that is cut a bit thicker than in the American tradition, and is chewy and meaty–not crispy. Either way, it’s tasty.


Here at Via Umbria, however, we also draw from the Italian bacon traditions: pancetta. Pancetta is the belly of the pig, cured into bacon just like here. The most crucial difference from the American bacon, however, is that it isn’t smoked and is sometimes rolled. In fact, most of the Italian pancetta you can find stateside is the rolled variety. Not so at Via Umbria; we primarily carry a “slab” of pancetta, that on a quick glance looks almost exactly like your typical breakfast bacon. This is not because the slab is different in any way from the rolled, just that better quality producers are mostly electing not to roll their pancettas. The use of the bacon is different too. Rather than slicing thickly and panfrying, you slice thin and eat raw. Or you dice and use as the base of an excellent sauce.

American Bacon and Jowciale

Bacon doesn’t stop there! In Umbria, and other areas of central Italy, you wouldn’t use pancetta. Instead, the choice is guanciale. Guanciale translates literally as cheek, and is produced in a fashion similar to pancetta, but using the jowl of the pig rather than the belly. It is usually fattier, and thus richer in flavor. I find that it is a superb addition to any charcuterie plate, the fat deliciously contrasts the meatiness of a prosciutto and the seasoned flavor of a salami. Also excellent for cooking, guanciale is the only real base of the carbonara and the amtriciana. American producers are catching on and making their own, sometimes putting their own American spin on it! You may have seen these on menus as “face bacon.” We carry one called jowciale, which is hickory smoked in Virginia and is fantastic when used to cook greens or pan-fried and put on a BLT or a burger.

However you like your bacon, we’re ready to meet your needs! Come have a chat with me at the butcher counter and we’ll make sure to have one that has you salivating.


Scott Weiss
Scott Weiss

Bacon is more complicated than you thought Read more

BACON! Okay, now that I have your attention let’s have a little chat, because bacon is a bit more complicated than you ...

Breakfast with Via Umbria

Do you find yourself getting stuck in a breakfast rut? Waking up mindlessly to the same thing every morning?

Though breakfast should be a time when you set the tone for your entire day, all too often it becomes an afterthought (or no thought at all).

We want to change that. Just because you don’t have time doesn’t mean your taste buds can’t be treated in the morning.

So we propose a toast, er, just toast, to better mornings. With three spreads sourced from Italy, we guarantee to perk up your morning routine in no time.

Via Umbria Spreads



Gianduia Panini

Our first suggestion is for the chocolate lover in your household. This is for those mornings when you really need some motivation to get out of bed. Gianduia is made of 40% hazelnuts, so you can claim you are getting protein at breakfast like the boring hard boiled egg eater. But lets be honest, this spread is about making you feel delighted in the morning. Gianduia is similar to Nutella in nature, but has a slightly different taste that is instantly recognizable — it is what is swirled into chocolate hazelnut gelato all across Italy. Because of this, it has a very nostalgic and European taste, for those who have travelled to Italy and enjoyed a gelato or two. It’s a wonderful way to wake up in the morning, and is magnificent with an espresso.

Panini breakfast

Gianduia Panini

Gianduia Panini

Nutella and Baguette




For those who prefer a more savory breakfast, we pair salty white cheese (such as feta, goat cheese, or a light sheep’s milk cheese) with plum jam

Pisaroni’s Plum Jam is our choice, as it is all natural and uses the simple ingredients of fresh plums, sugar, and a touch of lemon juice. For generations, the Pisaroni family has been harvesting their own crops using environmentally sustainable methods. The taste will make you feel wonderful, but the knowledge that it comes from small family farms should make you feel even better.

We throw it in the panini press for a minute to get a warm and toasty breakfast that fits in the palm of your hand, and seriously wakes up your mouth.

Pisaroni Plum Jam

Pisaroni Plum Jam

Breakfast Panini

Breakfast Panini


White Chocolate and Raspberry Compote

When we are feeling fruity in the morning, we pair fresh fruit (right now blueberries are in season!) with white chocolate and raspberry compote. 55% raspberries, and 9% white chocolate, this nuanced jam is a treat in the morning, and the white chocolate gives it a very interesting taste.

Breakfast with Via Umbria



We hope your mornings are elevated with these suggestions. Browse Emporio for even more gourmet suggestions to start your morning off right.


Ci Vediamo!

–Via Umbria

Pick Your Way Read more

Do you find yourself getting stuck in a breakfast rut? Waking up mindlessly to the same thing every morning? Though breakfast should be ...