The central Italian specialty, Guanciale, is a traditional cured meat highly prized for its amazing depth of flavor. With its robust salty character, it’s perfect in meals like spaghetti alla carbonara and sauces like Sugo all' amatriciana. Highly flavorful, its mostly fatty makeup allows Guanciale to simply melt away in recipes, leaving behind an incredibly meaty flavor that heightens and enhances the taste of so many classic Mediterranean dishes. We have an amazing selection of this incredible cured meat, from conveniently cubed pieces to the whole cheek, giving you the freedom to slice and portion at your will. No matter what you’re making, try adding a little of our ultra-flavorful Guanciale to the dish for a bold, meaty flavor.
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Guanciale is made from pork cheek, this fatty, tender area is one of the richest cuts on the animal. Its already savory nature absorbs flavorings and spices exceptionally well, making it a seasoning unto itself. Made by first rubbing the cheek with a generous amount of salt and a traditional rub composed of red pepper, thyme, fennel, and garlic, (though this combination is subject to change depending on the region it comes from) the Guanciale is then cured or aged for three months or until it loses about 30% of its original weight. This curing time results in a meat that boasts a strong concentrated flavor. Often compared to Pancetta or even Bacon, Guanciale has a more intense taste, yet texturally, it is much more delicate than either. Coming from the jowl instead of the belly, Guanciale is a completely different cut, tasting and behaving differently in recipes. Though substitutions can be made, the more familiar you become with these cuts, the less likely you’ll think they should. Because of its condensed taste, a little Guanciale goes a long way. Add a small handful to pasta or bean-based dishes for a delicious savory seasoning. Incorporate it into sauces and stews, or even eat it on its own, letting the fat simply melt on the tongue.
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