This Italian cured meat brings an intense umami flavour to a wide range of dishes, making it a staple in Italian kitchens. The taste possesses a salty intensity that can't be achieved by any other meat. It is often compared or replaced with unsmoked bacon or pancetta, but the taste is truly unmatched. Guanciale is the solution to unlocking a new level of flavour when making some of your favourite Italian pastas. It’s a challenging product to find in grocery stores, which is why we’ve got you covered.
Guanciale originates from central Italy, particularly from the regions of Lazio and Umbria. The Lazio region is home to Rome, which is why two of the four Roman pastas, carbonara,  and amatriciana both use guanciale as a key ingredient. The name "guanciale" is derived from the Italian word "guancia," which means cheek. It is crafted by dry-curing and ageing the pork cheek, resulting in a unique product that distinguishes itself from other cured meats. 

The preparation of guanciale starts with carefully selecting the highest quality pork jowls. The meat is then seasoned with a blend of salt, black pepper, and sometimes other spices like garlic or thyme. Traditionally, the jowls are left to cure for several weeks, allowing the flavours to develop and intensify. The slow curing process creates a firm texture and a deep, complex taste that sets guanciale apart from other pork products.
Guanciale is renowned for its incredibly rich flavour profile,  It offers a well-balanced combination of savoury, salty, and slightly smoky notes. The generous marbling in the pork cheek adds a luxurious fattiness that melts when cooked adding a particularly rich taste to the dishes it compliments. Guancuiale is not smoked like bacon, its flavour instead comes from the ageing process and added spices. 

It serves as a crucial ingredient in classic Italian pasta dishes, such as carbonara and amatriciana. In these recipes, guanciale is usually sliced into thin strips and sautéed until crispy, adding a certain savoury taste to the dishes. The rendered fat from guanciale acts as a flavorful base for the sauce, coating each strand of pasta with its salty goodness. Aside from these key dishes guanciale can have a number of other uses including in soups, on crostinis, and as a pizza topping. Its versatility and ability to enhance the taste of various dishes make it a prized ingredient among chefs and home cooks alike.

Guanciale stands as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Italy. Its unique taste, derived from the skillful combination of craftsmanship and time-honoured traditions, elevates Italian dishes to new dimensions. Whether it's the velvety texture or the robust flavour profile, guanciale offers an experience that is simply irresistible.

The Deli Society Tuscan Guanciale comes directly from our Italian meat producers and is rubbed with black pepper then cured. It is a rich delicate meat that will melt in your hands. It pairs beautifully with our pecorino, Afeltra speghettoni and Fenton Farm eggs to make a truly authentic and stunningly fresh carbonara. 

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