Did you know that most types of meat out there derive their origins from different body parts of the same animal? Certain animals, such as cows and chickens, have delicious meat and recipes that come from several different body parts. Some, like chicken breast and ribs, are pretty commonly found and are regarded as delicacies. Others, however, are a bit more unorthodox. One of the best examples of this trait is a meat called guanciale. But, what is guanciale, and how is it used in cuisine? We break it down for you below!
Guanciale As A Meat
The first question you probably have about guanciale as a meat is where exactly it comes from. Which animal is it made from, and what part of it? Guanciale is actually one of the many meats that come from pigs! It’s unique in that the meat comes from a pig’s cheeks or jowls. You might think that there isn’t a lot to work with there, but that’s where you’d be mistaken; guanciale is actually more tender and flavorful than meats like pancetta and ham. For this reason, you could consider guanciale as a tastier version of ham.
How Its Produced
You might be wondering how a body part with not much meat content ends up being tastier and more tender than its pork counterparts. Much of this has to do with the way that guanciale is produced! First, raw pork cheek meat is rubbed down with salt and a few other spices. After that’s done, the pork is left to cure, which is essentially wine aging applied to meat, for three weeks. This three week period allows the flavors of the pork to absorb evenly and thoroughly throughout the meat, leading to the great taste that people crave.
Guanciale vs. Bacon
When guanciale is brought up in conversation, it’s common to compare it to bacon. After all, they’re both from the same animal and have great flavor! Guanciale can also substitute bacon in a majority of recipes that use it, making it a nice addition to many recipes! However, guanciale is a little bit trickier to find and more expensive than bacon is. After all, the process to make it is far more complicated! If you can get your hands on it, however, the taste is far worth the increased price tag.
Guanciale at Assaggio
Did we forget to mention that guanciale is an Italian product? You’ll find it in several of our Italian cuisines that we serve at Assaggio! We specialize in a wide variety of authentic Italian recipes that bring the great tastes of Italy right to the heart of the Atlantic coast. To experience the wonders of Italian dining without the plane ticket, click here to make a reservation with us!