What is Guanciale?

It is derived from the word “Guanca”, which means “cheek.” Guanciale is from the cheek of the pig. It is mainly used in central Italy, specifically in regions like Umbria and Lazio.

Guanciale is a type of cured pork that is prepared with salt and aged for at least two months. 

It has a milder flavor than pancetta and is usually used in Italian cooking. It is most commonly used in pasta dishes like carbonara.

In addition to the two types of dishes mentioned above, there are many others, such as lasagna, mac, and cheese, and more, that also incorporate some guanciale.

This flavorful ingredient pairs extremely well with almost anything and is a must-have in any kitchen.

While fresh pork cheeks can be obtained raw, most guanciale is cured.

What Animal is Guanciale Made of?

Guanciale is the name of the Italian ham product, and Guanciale, which is the product of the pig’s cheek, is traditionally cured using a method called lardo, which is similar to how hams are cured today.

This is how a piece of meat that is left on the cheek, or guanciale, is prepared.

But this is not all that is used in preparing the dish. The meat from the cheeks is cooked with salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, and spices.

After cooking, it is then placed in a mold and pressed. This is what gives the meat its unique taste.

Where Does Guanciale Originate From?


The word guanciale comes from the Italian language. Guanciale is made of pork jowl meat, and it was traditionally used in Italian cuisine.

It is different from bacon because it has a more fatty and flavorful taste than bacon. Guanciale production was once primarily limited to southern Italy.

Today, there are many guanciale producers in the United States. They have grown more popular in recent years.

The production of guanciale can be traced back to at least the 16th century. Guanciale is usually found in a cured form.

It is often used to make a variety of dishes, including sausages, breadcrumbs, and soups. It can also be used as an ingredient in pizza.

Is Guanciale Cooked?

It is not a lump of cooked meat. It is cured meat that has been cured in salt and spices such as rosemary, black pepper, garlic, and thyme.

Then it is transferred to a dark room where it is cured for three to four weeks.

Three to four weeks is mandatory for curing. But there is no time limit for how long to cure. Some people will cure up to 12 to 16 weeks. The longer you cure the greater the depth of flavors.

This curing process also increases the shelf life of Guanciale. It eliminates the harmful bacteria that will make you sick.

As the bacteria have been removed during the curing process they can be used without cooking.

But most people use this with other dishes because it enhances the flavor and taste of the dish.

What is Guanciale Used For?

If you’re wondering about what guanciale is used for, you’re probably thinking about using it on a pizza.

The word means “jowl” in Italian, which is a reference to the meat that’s used in making the authentic Italian version of pizza.

The jowl, or cheek meat of a pig, is cut into slices and rubbed with garlic and herbs before being cooked in the oven.

When guanciale goes on top of a pizza, it adds a rich and savory flavor to the dish.

It is not only used in pizza it is used in tons of other Italian dishes. You can eat it with bread or you can have it with pasta etc.

It will enhance the flavor and taste of any dish it is used in.

What Are the Differences Between Guanciale and Pancetta?

Guanciale is made from the jowls of a pig, while pancetta is made from the belly and feet of a pig.

Both are cured and smoked over wood fires, but guanciale is cooked with the skin attached and is typically served as a spread on bread.

Pancetta is sliced, chopped, or diced and used as a flavoring in many dishes, or to cook other foods.

Where to buy guanciale?

This is a specialty Italian salami made from the fat found in the cheek and jowl of a pig.

The best place to find guanciale is at an authentic Italian grocery or butcher shop.

This product has a higher fat content than bacon, so it is not used as much for cooking, but it makes a great garnish on portions of pasta, risottos, and soups.

There are a lot of recipes available online that use guanciale.


I hope this article gave you some knowledge about Guanciale. It is a lump of great Italian meat that can’t be substituted with anyone. 

Guala is a delicious Italian pork product, which is made by the slow cooking of fatty, cured pork belly. It is very similar to pancetta but has a stronger flavor.

It’s a bit more expensive than pancetta, but it has a lot of flavors and is very versatile. It’s great for frying, braising, and baking, and it also makes a great base for meat dishes.

Guanciale is also a great ingredient for making your sausage.

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