Bresaola is Italy's answer to my prayers. It is cured beef that originates in northern Italy and, apparently, is the closest you can get to prosciutto without being pork.
The bresaola found in Canada is a slightly more salted and firmer version than the ones found in Italy. Nonetheless, it is absolutely delicious.
However, finding it is often a problem. I have found that even most Ital-Canadians do not know what it is. Walk into most delis to request this meat and the reply would be, "Huh? You want brisket?"
To make your lives easier, below is a list of places you can purchase bresaola in and around the Greater Toronto Area:
- Grande Cheese (any location)
- Pusateri's (Avenue and Lawrence or in Yorkville)
- La Salumeria (Yonge and Davisville)
- St. Lawrence Market
Hint: Make sure you order the bresaola sliced paper thin. The fillets should almost be translucent.
In Italy, this cured meat is served with arugula/rocket, parmigiano reggiano, olive oil and lemon juice. Here are some other ways to enjoy this flavourful deli meat:
- in a sandwich
- shredded in a salad
- combined with melon (e.g. honeydew, canary melon or cantaloupe)
- used in replacement in recipes calling for prosciutto