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What Is Guanciale?

Know Your Ingredients: Guanciale

Even if you've never heard of guanciale, it's entirely possible that you've eaten it before and never realized it; the cured meat resembles bacon when it's both raw and cooked. But guanciale comes from an entirely different part of the pig.

A specialty of the central Italian regions of Umbria and Lazio, guanciale is pork jowl or pig cheek that's been cured with black pepper, red pepper, or spices. It's softer in texture and less salty than pancetta, but possesses a stronger, fattier taste.

Guanciale's rarely eaten raw; rather, it's well-suited for sautéeing with vegetables, enriching a stew, or boosting the flavor of meat. It's an essential ingredient in several classic Roman pastas, such as spaghetti alla carbonara and bucatini all'amatriciana.

Source: Flickr User

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thepiggypost thepiggypost 6 years
My bf and I got guanciale at Salumi, Batali's dad's place in Seattle. We brought it back to NYC and it was delicious in soup in the winter! Thanks for the information and the great picture. Do you mind if I repost this on Please let me know! Thanks again! Oink!
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 6 years
Ugh. I thought Guanciale was going to be some must try veggie item (and to prove my dummy moment, I was betting on it being related to some type of Avocado (because of the dip Guacamole... brain. fart. lol.) Instead I saw a disgusting image of pork. Not what I want to look at.
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