Eat this Word: Guanciale

guanciale WHAT? Babbo's bacon. Popularized in this country by chef Mario Batali, guanciale is salt-cured, dried pigs' cheek; pancetta, which may be substituted for it, is made from the belly of the pig. The name comes from guancia, which means "cheek" in Italian. Guanciale, a main ingredient in spaghetti all'amatriciana, is especially common in the cooking of central Italy. The Babbo website notes that though guanciale "is leaner than traditional pork pieces, it has a noticeably richer flavor. It is this richness, combined with a delicate porkiness, that more than merits the meat's three-week drying period. Making guanciale may require a little more planning than simply buying good-quality bacon or pancetta, but its abundance of flavor distinguishes guanciale from the rest, making every dish that much more succulent." WHERE? Josh Adams's Beard House dinner WHEN? February 1, 2010 HOW? Greengold Acres Egg with Coffee-Smoked Shiitakes, Housemade Guanciale, Brioche, Fines Herbes, and Hollandaise

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