1. WHAT IS IT?
AKA: jowl bacon, guanciale (gwan-CHAH-leh)
Animal of origin: pig
History: These cured, smoked pork cheeks are popular in the Southern United States where they’re traditionally eaten with black-eyed peas and collard greens. In Italy, they rub the meat with salt, ground black pepper, sugar, and other spices, then let it sit for 3 days to produce Guanciale.
2. WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Flavor Profile: Salty, fatty, and juicy
Why is it better than bacon? you might ask. For one, pork jowl is thicker than bacon—even compared to thick-cut. Bacon is thin with a satisfying salty crunch while pork jowl is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. When you take a bite, a rush of juicy flavor fills your mouth. Need I say more?
3. IS IT HEALTHY?
Replaces: bacon — not that healthy, but heaven in moderation
4. WHERE CAN I FIND IT?
5. HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Store: keep in the fridge for up to a week
6. BUT HOW DO I EAT IT?
Craving more? Try these recipes: