When you think about Springtime foods, naturally what comes to mind is lamb, fresh goat cheese, and of course, fresh, green vegetables. But even the freshest greens like asparagus, peas and zucchini could use a little boost of umami after a while. That’s where Guanciale comes in!
Guanciale is the funky cousin of bacon or pancetta. A cured pork jowl, but without the smoke that bacon usually has. Rather, Guanciale is coated in rosemary, black and white pepper and salt, which permeates and perfumes the fatty meat. Its silky texture melts easily, which means it’s great for quickly searing bright Spring greens, leaving a chewy (or crispy, if sliced super thin) texture.
Guanciale is typically an ingredient in Pasta all’Amatriciana, a great base ingredient for risotto, or even wrapping a lean fish or pork loin in for added flavor. Ours comes from La Quercia, an Iowa family-run producer that raises healthy and happy pork, uses no nitrates, so it has a clean, slightly musky and sweet aroma, and adds a satisfying bite to any Springtime meal!