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Ashley Dingeman

Ashley Dingeman is the owner/writer of Saratogafoodfanatic.com, a food blog based out of Saratoga Springs, NY. Ashley covers anything and everything food related in Upstate NY and beyond, including restaurant reviews, recipes, product reviews, and more. A lover of wine, her dog Carly, and outdoor activities, Ashley is all about savoring life, one bite or sip at a time!

Have you ever used Speck Alto Adige before?
I have not ever worked with this product at home! I have had it while out to dinner - and have to admit... I'm a bit obsessed. It's fantastic! But never dreamed of using it at home.

Would you recommend Speck to a friend?
Absolutely without a doubt. Not only is it delicious, but it's an extremely easy ingredient to work with in the kitchen.

What dish did you make using Speck and how did you come up with the idea?
I made what I am calling "The Speck-tacular Tuffle Panini", a panini with truffle cheese, cheese curds, and speck drizzle over top with cherry preserves. This dish was inspired by a meal I had in Astoria, Queens about a year ago that was basically life-altering, and I've been dreaming of it ever since. The only difference was the restaurant used prosciutto, and I have to say, the speck took it to a whole different level!

Is Speck something you would use in other dishes? Do you think it's a versatile ingredient, if so, why?
Absolutely. It's certainly versatile, and definitely not something that should be intimidating to home cooks. Speck can be used in so many ways, it definitely isn't JUST a charcuterie item like I most often enjoy it. You can add it to pasta dishes, cook it with breakfast foods, slice it onto sandwiches, etc. Hot or cold, speck is absolutely versatile!

What is your favorite thing about using Speck in your recipes? Does it have specific qualities that you enjoy?
I love using Speck because it's different. While the flavors aren't intimidating or extreme, it provides an option that you wouldn't necessarily see being used at a friend's house or at many restaurants. The thing is, whenever speck is used in a dish, it adds a ton of flavor. I personally love it paired with cheese, because the salt and meatiness pairs really well with the soft and creaminess of a soft cheese such as burrata or mozzarella.

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