Guanciale

And having just found a superb walkthrough for the pigs cheek bacon.. its game on.. !

From Belly to Bacon

People say that bacon is a trend and, in my opinion, part of it is. Bacon, by itself, is probably more of a hanger on of the surge in gourmet interests than anything else. People have always loved bacon though. The fringe movement that includes bacon salt (redundant), bacon vodka (mismatched), and baconnaise (disgusting) gives the simple pleasure of crispy meat a bad name. A positive is that, as the often too small t-shirt reads, bacon is a gateway meat.

For me, the gateway led to Guanciale.

Guanciale is a cured and dried jowl from a pig. The fat is more lucious and plentiful than on the pork belly and there is no smoke. Dishes that you have likely eaten that included (or should have included) guanciale are amatriciana and carbonara. The taste is of pure salty pork funk, but nothing that is going to completely dominate a dish.

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