Guanciale (Italian pronunciation: [ɡwanˈtʃaːle]) is an Italian cured meat or salami product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks. Its name is derived from guancia, Italian for cheek. Guanciale is similar to the jowl bacon of the United States.
Pork cheek is rubbed with salt, sugar, and spices (typically ground black pepper or red pepper and thyme or fennel and sometimes garlic) and cured for three weeks or until it loses approximately 30% of its original weight. Its flavor is stronger than other pork products, such as pancetta, and its texture is more delicate. Upon cooking, the fat typically melts away giving great depth of flavor to the dishes and sauces it is used in.
- "Italy's ultimate answer to bacon: Guanciale". Salon. November 10, 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- Michael Ruhlman; Brian Polcyn (27 August 2012), Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, W. W. Norton & Company, pp. 87–89, ISBN 978-0-393-06859-7
- "The New Bacon: Pancetta, Guanciale and More", San Jose Mercury News, 2011-03-15