Where does your favorite bacon come from? We’re not talking about artisanal maple-cured Vermont slabs or Mangalitsa slices. We’re talking bacon from the face.
Guanciale comes from the Italian word “guancia,” or cheek. The pig’s jowls are prime real estate — snowy fat streaked with lean red meat — and have been used in traditional Roman dishes since…well, Roman times. When you use every part of the animal, sometimes you find a particularly tasty portion. Many dishes feature this exceptionally flavorful cut, which is definitely worth seeking out or specially requesting at your local Italian grocer or butcher. This one’s our favorite:
Use today’s Word of the Day: Roman-Style Spaghetti Alla Carbonara