Guanciale All You Need to Know

Guanciale is an Italian word meaning “cheek bacon”. It has been around since the 15th century and is now considered a delicacy. The meat comes from the jowls of pigs.

Guanciale is often used in cooking because its flavor resembles bacon. It is also used as a spread for bread and pasta. Guanciale is an Italian cured pork product similar to bacon. It has a strong flavor and aroma due to its high-fat content. The meat comes from pigs aged between 12 months and 2 years. It is often used in cooking, especially in Italian cuisine.

Guanciale is also known as pancetta di testa, head bacon, or pig’s cheek bacon. In Italy, guanciale is usually served sliced thin and grilled or fried. Guanciale is an Italian delicacy that has been around since the Middle Ages. It is usually made from pork jowls and is used in a variety of dishes such as pasta sauces, soups, stews, and even desserts. It is also known as lardo di Colonnata because it was originally produced in Colonnata, a small town in Tuscany.

Nowadays, guanciale is becoming increasingly popular among foodies across the globe. So if you haven’t tried it before, now is the perfect time to give it a try!

What is Guanciale?

Guanciale is one of the most famous cured meats in Italy. It is made from the cheeks of a young pig. This meat is then salted, air-dried, and smoked over beechwood. It takes about two weeks for this process to complete.

The meat is then cut into slices and sold at local markets. People love guanciale because of its rich smoky taste. It can be used in many different ways, including on pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and more.

It is important to note that guanciale should not be confused with pancetta. Pancetta is made from the belly of a hog whereas guanciale is made from the cheeks.

Guanciale has a very distinct texture and smell. It tends to have a slightly sweet flavor and a hint of smoke. It is best when eaten fresh. However, it can last up to three days in the fridge.

How to make Guanciale?


  • 1 pound pork jowls
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves


Step 1

Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring them to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

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Step 2

Once cooled, place the mixture in a container with a lid and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3

Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and use your hands to knead the mixture until it becomes soft and pliable.

Step 4

Cut the mixture into ¾ inch thick pieces. Place the pieces on racks set over baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Let dry out for four hours.

Step 5

After drying, store the dried guanciale in an airtight container in the freezer.

How to Cook With Guanciale

You can use guanciale in almost any dish where bacon would normally go. For example, you could use it in place of regular bacon in your favorite breakfast recipes. Or you could add some to your next salad. If you are looking for something savory, you could serve it with pasta.

You can cook guanciale like bacon by frying it until crispy. Alternatively, you can grill it or bake it. To make sure your guanciale doesn’t dry out, you need to keep it covered while it cooks.

If you want to enjoy guanciale straight off the bone, you will need to remove it from the fat first. Then slice it thinly and pan fry it until crisp.

How to Select Guanciale?

When selecting guanciale, look for pieces that feel firm and do not crumble easily. The color should range between light brown and dark brown. Avoid pieces that are too fatty or have a strong odor.

Buy Nduja Guanciale Pack 1 Guanciale Dry Cured Pork Jowls MildFresh Herb  1416 Online at Low Prices in India -

You can find guanciale at most grocery stores. Look for packages labeled “pancetta di testa”. It is often found near other cured meats such as prosciutto and speck.

Guanciale is also available online. Some sites sell it sliced and packaged. Others offer it pre-sliced. Still, others sell it lose. Guanciale is an Italian cured meat product, similar to bacon. It is typically smoked pork jowls that are cured with salt, pepper, sugar, and herbs. This process gives guanciale a rich flavor and texture. It is usually used as a flavoring ingredient rather than eaten on its own. It is sometimes called “swine cheek” because of its resemblance to bacon.

Where to Buy Guanciale?

You can buy guanciale at many different locations. Most supermarkets carry this product. They may be located in the deli section, near the cheese counter, or near the meat department. There are also specialty food shops that specialize in selling cured meats. These include butcher shops and gourmet markets.

In addition to these locations, you can order guanciale directly from Italy. Many websites sell guanciale shipped directly from Italy. These companies ship their products via DHL, UPS, FedEx, or USPS.

Guanciale comes in several varieties. Some contain only salt, pepper, and spices. Others contain additional flavors such as garlic and rosemary. In general, guanciale contains more salt than bacon. However, if you prefer a milder taste, you can always cut back on the amount of salt you add when cooking with guanciale.

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Guanciale vs Bacon

There are many similarities between guanciale and bacon. Both are made from pig jowls. Both are cured using salt, pepper, sugar, and/or herbs. And both come in various sizes and shapes.

However, there are differences between guanciale and regular bacon. First, guanciale has a stronger flavor. Second, guanciale is thinner than regular bacon. Third, guanciale does not require refrigeration. Fourth, guanciale is less expensive than bacon.

These differences mean that guanciale is better suited for certain dishes than bacon. For example, guanciale works well in stews and braises. It adds a deep, smoky flavor without overpowering the dish. On the other hand, guanciale is not suitable for fried foods. If you plan to use guanciale in any fried recipes, you must first cure it before frying. Otherwise, the fat will render out of the meat during the frying process.

Guanciale Cooking Tips

To ensure that your guanciale remains moist, you need to cover it while curing. Curing times vary depending on how thick the guanciale is.

Guanciale, Cured Jowl, Approx 1.2 lb — Piccolo's Gastronomia Italiana

Generally, it takes about 2 weeks to fully cure the guanciale. During this time, you must keep the meat covered. You can store the guanciale in the refrigerator after it is cured. However, you should remove it from the fridge at least once per week so that it can return to room temperature.

If you want to cook with guanciale, you should slice it into thin strips. To do this, place the guanciale in a bowl. Cut the guanciale crosswise into slices no thicker than 1⁄4 inch.

Then, lay the slices flat in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the guanciale is frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the guanciale to a zip-top bag. Seal the bag and freeze again. Repeat this process two more times. The third freezing step helps to harden the guanciale. This makes it easier to slice later.

Once you have sliced the guanciale, you can cook it in any manner you like. You can pan-fry the guanciale, grill it, or smoke it over an open fire. When cooking guanciale, make sure to avoid adding too much oil. The fat will render out during the cooking process. Instead, try sautéing the guanciale in olive oil, you can simply fry the guanciale in vegetable oil.

How to Store Guanciale?

You can store guanciale in the freezer for up to one year. Before storing the guanciale, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Do not seal the package with tape.

Tape may cause the guanciale to dry out. After wrapping the guanciale, label the package with the date you bought it. Also, write down the name of the brand of guanciale you purchased. This information will help you identify the guanciale if you ever lose it.

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Substitutes for Guanciale

Guanciale is an Italian sausage made from pork cheek meat. It has a rich flavor and texture that makes it perfect for making homemade pasta sauces. However, guanciale is expensive and hard to find. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious substitutes that are similar to guanciale.

I’ve put together a list of 8 different types of sausages that are almost identical to guanciale. They are also much cheaper and easier to find than guanciale. These alternatives are perfect if you want to use guanciale in recipes but can’t afford the price tag.

1. Pancetta

Pancetta is a type of salted pork belly. It is usually sold like a slab of cutlets. Although pancetta is often used in Italian cuisine, it is also popular in American cuisine. In fact, many restaurants serve their own versions of pancetta.

2. Prosciutto di Parma

Prosciutto di Piacenza is another type of salted pork product. It comes in various sizes and shapes. Some prosciutto is rolled while others are thinly sliced. Prosciutto is typically served cold.

3. Salami

Salamis are types of dried meats that come in a variety of flavors. Most salamis are made from beef. However, some are made from goat, veal, lamb, chicken, and even duck. There are also vegetarian varieties.

4. Mortadella

Mortadella is a type of salami that originated in Italy. It is commonly referred to as “Italian bologna.” Mortadella is made from ground pork mixed with spices and salt.

5. Saucisson Sec

Saucisson sec is a type of dry sausage. It is made from coarsely ground pork and other ingredients such as garlic, pepper, and fennel seeds. Saucisson sec is available in both sweet and hot varieties.

6. Chorizo

Chorizo is a spicy Mexican sausage. It is made by grinding fresh pork, chile peppers, and seasonings into a paste. Chorizo is traditionally cooked in large chunks and then fried.

7. Lomo Saltado

Lomo Salgado is a traditional Peruvian dish. It consists of steak that is marinated in lime juice and chili powder. The steak is then quickly seared in a skillet before being served with vegetables.


Although guanciale is considered a delicacy, it is actually quite easy to make at home. If you enjoy eating guanciale, I recommend purchasing a small piece of guanciale and saving the rest for later. You can slice the guanciale and freeze it for future meals.

Once you have sliced the guanciale, you can cook it using any method you like. You can eat it raw, pan-fried, grilled, smoked, or even deep-fried.

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