Cured pork cheek. Pancetta or bacon are often recommended as subsitutes, but it isn’t quite the same. Guanciale has a pure meaty flavor, with a slightly higher “meat” ratio. It is also usually unsmoked, allowing the flavor of the meat to come through more. It is an integral ingredient for Carbonara, Amatriciana and Pasta alla Gricia.
Also called: Gota (Tuscany)