Cecina (meat)

In Spanish, cecina [θeˈθina] is meat that has been salted and dried by means of air, sun or smoke. The word comes from the Latin siccus (dry),[1] via Vulgar Latin (caro) *siccīna, "dry (meat)".[2]

Place of originSpain
Region or stateLeón
Serving temperatureRoom temperature (approximately 15–20 °C or 60–70 °F)
Main ingredientscow


Cecina is similar to ham and is made by curing cow, horse or rabbit meat. The best known cecina is Cecina de León, which is made of the hind legs of a cow, salted, smoked and air-dried in the provinces of León and Palencia in northwestern Spain, and has PGI status.

Latin America

The word cecina is also used to name other kinds of dried or cured meat in Latin America.


In Mexico, most cecina is of two kinds: sheets of marinated beef, and a pork cut that is sliced or butterflied thin and coated with chili pepper (this type is called cecina enchilada or carne enchilada).[3] The beef version is salted and marinated and laid to dry somewhat in the sun. The marinated beef version can be consumed uncooked, similar to prosciutto. The pork "cecina enchilada" must be cooked before consumption. The town of Yecapixtla is well known for its version of the dish, which varies from region to region.[4]

Cecina in Mexico

See also


  1. Anders, Valentin. "CECINA". etimologias.dechile.net.
  2. Coromines, Joan (2000). Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico. Gredos. ISBN 9788424913618.
  3. "Menu in Progress: Anatomy of an Oaxacan Carniceria". March 2008.
  4. "The Cooking Fire".
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