Speck can refer to a number of European cured pork products, typically salted and air-cured and often lightly smoked but not cooked. In Germany, speck is pickled pork fat with or without some meat in it. Throughout much of the rest of Europe and parts of the English-speaking culinary world, speck often refers to South Tyrolean speck, a type of smoked ham. The term "speck" became part of popular parlance only in the eighteenth century and replaced the older term "bachen", a cognate of "bacon".
There are a number of regional varieties of speck, including:
In Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, in which bacon (like all pork) is forbidden as unkosher, "speck" commonly refers to the subcutaneous fat on a brisket of beef. It is a particular speciality of delis serving Montreal-style smoked meat, where slices of the fatty cut are served in sandwiches on rye bread with mustard, sometimes in combination with other, leaner cuts.