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Oct 24, 2006 01:18 AM

Guanciale at Cafe Rouge.

I went their last week for brunch and picked up some guanciale at their meat market. Guanciale ( Italian for pigs cheek) is cured, then cut and cooked like pancetta. But, I swear, this stuff is saltier than salt. I couldn't even eat in cooked into a nice red sauce I made up. It was probably 5 times saltier than bacon, literally! Any Comments?

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  1. Is it usually used as a basis for a sauce where it's the only meat or is it added to sauces in small quantities where other meat or veg are the main ingreds?

    I don't know much about it. Maybe some guanciale experts will step forward.

    I'm only saying this as Cafe Rouge has always been the source of fabulous everything I've ever bought, from hamburger meat to bunny pate.

    1 Reply
    1. I've bought Rouge's guanciale in the past and didn't find it more salty than usual.

      Further discussion moved to the General board topic.

      1. You might try Fatted Calf's guanciale and see if you prefer it. You can order ahead to pick up at the Ferry Plaza or Berkeley Saturday farmers markets.

        1. I picked up some guanciale from Niman Ranch at the FP farmer's market a few weeks ago; it too is extraordinarily salty, so we've been slicing it cross-grain and soaking it in milk a bit like a salt-packed anchovy. It's tasty, but this example doesn't really change my world view. I'll have to try Fatted Calf's once we work our way through this rather large batch. I'm hoping the lack of epiphany has more to do with Niman Ranch's general good but not great quality rather than guanciale itself.

          3 Replies
          1. re: SteveG

            Next time you're near Santa Rosa, stop by Traverso's to get some of the housecured guanciale. Better than Niman or Molinari, haven't tried FC's.

            P.S. to Samuel, guanciale is made from the jowl along the neck area, not the cheek meat.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Thanks for the tip; I did read your previous post on Traverso's with interest!

              Does Traverso's cut and sell smaller chunks? Niman sold me a pre-packaged set of 2.

              1. re: SteveG

                It's in the cold cut case. They'll hack off the amount you want. Be sure to call ahead to make sure it's available, and get some of the housemade pancetta too.