When one hears the word for the first time, it may seem completely unfamiliar.
Some people think it’s the name of a sauce, others think it’s an exotic dish.
Guanciale is the name of the pig’s cheeks prepared according to the specific recipe, so both would be wrong.
You can freeze guanciale, but you’ll have to make sure the meat stays frozen and thaws out slowly.
Guanciale is a cured, aged pig’s cheek that is considered a delicacy in Italy.
We will tell you everything you need to know about it, how it is made, and how to use it in cooking. Let’s get going!
Table of Contents
What Is Guanciale?
Guanciale is a product that originated in sunny Italy. It is made from pig’s cheeks or jowls, and the traditional pronunciation is “wanted” in Italian.
The pork cheeks are rubbed with salt and spices and are sometimes referred to as Italian bacon, but this is not the correct definition for it.
They are cured for three weeks or until they lose at least thirty percent of their initial weight.
A pork cheek with a delicate texture and strong aroma is different from other pork products.
Italians love cooking with guanciale because during the heating process its fat melt away giving the dish or sauce an incredible flavor and taste.
This typical Italian product can also be consumed after being cooked!
When eaten, guanciale tastes great as it is sliced into thin pieces and placed over the fresh bread with some butter or greens.
Pasta is an area of use for these pork cheeks. Most of the pasta dishes in Italy are made with guanciale. It also works with various sauces well.
Can I Make it at Home?
Pork cheeks can be made at home, and most home chefs and smoking enthusiasts will ask that question.
It takes a lot of time, but it is also very responsible and must be taken according to all the food safety standards since you are working with meat.
If you are an experienced meat smoker, then you should experiment with salting and curing methods, but remember that making Guanciale is not that easy.
How to Store Guanciale?
Buying a proper pig’s cheek can become a challenge since we are not Italians.
If you want to succeed in this task, we would recommend sticking to the Italian stores and markets.
However, buying is just the beginning.
How to keep it is the most important question. Most of us assume that shoving a piece into the fridge is enough, but is that the case?
That’s right, it is! The best way to keep this food fresh is to keep it refrigerated. Wrap it around the butcher’s paper and chill it.
Once you need this food, take it out, cut as much as you need, and return the rest to where it belongs.
roman pasta will be the number one suggestion for any possible meals that can include Guanciale.
Pork cheeks are widely used for cooking all sorts of pasta in Italy. The traditional carbonara recipe has found its place in this product.
How can I make a guanciale?
Pork cheeks are made by trimming the fresh meat with the skin on and then salted for several days.
After the salt is removed, the spices are applied, and the meat is aged for at least 70 days.
Where can I buy guanciale?
If it isn’t available in Italy where it can be purchased directly from the producers, it’s better to buy it in the markets or stores that sell such foods.
Can I Freeze Guanciale?
Yes, guanciale can be frozen.
Freezing guanciale, though, will change its texture and affect its flavor. Guanciale should be cooked immediately after freezing, as it will become very soft and break apart.
Foodie and a passionate cook, I am here to share all of what I know about cooking, kitchen, and food prepping.
Follow me for delicious and healthy recipes.