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GUANCIALE, CHEEK BACON

A delicacy of central Italy, Guanciale is unsmoked bacon made with pig's jowl or cheeks, similar to the jowl bacon made in the United States but much tastier. It is mostly fat, so it has more flavor than other types of bacon and a delicate texture.

Its name is derived from guancia, Italian for cheek.

The meat is rubbed with salt, sugar, and spices (ground black pepper, thyme and sometimes garlic) and cured for three weeks.

Then it is hung to dry for another three weeks. It is easy to make and you can actually do it at home if you have a basement. You can find plenty of recipes online.

Guanciale is traditionally used in dishes like pasta all'amatriciana and spaghetti alla carbonara

IMAGE:

Guanciale made by http://www.aziendecafra.com