Chef Essig's Featured Item of the Week = Saltimbocca

We're always cooking up something different in Dining Services!

A new item we hope you try this week is our Pork Saltimbocca. Saltimbocca originated in Italy and is considered a staple of Romana cuisine.

pork saltimbocca

The main components are veal or pork, Prosciutto, fresh sage, wine, and butter. Such a combination of ingredients could not have originated anywhere else in history besides Rome. This is mainly due to the quality ingredients being pulled from specific corners of the region, coming together in a combination that exemplifies the Emilia Romagna region.

The name itself means “jump in mouth” because the dish is SO good you just can’t keep it from jumping in your mouth! Hopefully you will try it and agree.

pork saltimboccaThe cut of meat is seasoned, sometimes marinated, wrapped with Prosciutto and fresh sage then sautéed in butter. Wine is added to the pan at the end to remove or “de glaze” the caramelization from the pan formed during the sautéing process. The wine and flavors of the caramelization are used as a light sauce over the dish.

Caramelization that is formed when sautéing meat contains a large amount of flavor and should always be utilized whenever possible to incorporate into the final dish of any sautéed item.

We will be serving Pork Saltimbocca at Holmes Dining Hall at Dinner on Thursday, September 5th... join us and see how you like this new dish!

pros stage oneMmmm... Prosciutto

Prosciutto is a cured ham of Italy that has been produced before the Romans. It is a way of preserving meat that has been perfected through the ages. As the Roman soldiers traveled and conquered to create the empire, they most likely carried prosciutto with them as it was safe and gave them a taste of their home.

Prosciutto is most commonly associated with the Parma region of Italy, but it is produced throughout the country. Many regions are just as proud of the quality of their hams as those from Parma.

(Did you miss reading Chef's blog from when he went to Italy and France? Check it out here!)

When in Modena last spring, I visited a prosciutto plant that had been in the family for five generations. There was pride, not only in the product itself, but in the ingredients of the region. Everything from the special breed of pigs, the quality of feed, the salt from the nearby ocean, and the freshness of the air all come together to provide you with a taste of the entire region in just one bite.

pros mod stampTrue Prosciutto has two ingredients - pork and salt - that’s it. The hind legs of choice pigs are packed with salt to cure and then allowed to air dry for about 14 months.

This drying process concentrates the quality of the pork into flavors and aromas that are sweet and intense with a texture that just melts in your mouth when it is cut thin.

The flavorful ham, rich butter, aromatic sage and wine all come together in this dish to form a true organoleptic dining experience. Enjoy!

(Did you miss reading Chef's blog from when he went to Italy and France? Check it out here!)


We're Here For You

There are many new and exciting things happening in Dining Services this year, if you want to know more, have comments, or want to see what’s on the menu for today... you can always check us out on the web at

UNC Dining Services has a Facebook page, so please like us! We will be posting information about yummy menu items, upcoming events and special dinners, special hours for Thanksgiving Break, etc. Retail Dining has a Facebook page, and UNC Catering does too! You should like all 3 pages!

Dining Services is here for you because We Feed The Bears and are proud of it! GO BEARS!!

Chef Essig

Happy Dining from Executive Chef Essig!

Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA
(Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Administrator)

Hungry and not sure where to eat? We can help you decide... check out the weekly menus often to see what each dining room is serving. You can also call the FoodLine (970.351.FOOD) for daily menus. Students living in the residence halls can access weekly menus on the VOIP phones in their rooms.

Students: add meals and/or Dining Dollars to your UNC Card

Faculty/Staff: sign up for the payroll deduction program

Have questions, comments, or suggestions?? Email us at