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Guanciale at Cafe Rouge.

SamuelA.L. Oct 24, 2006 01:18 AM

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. oakjoan RE: SamuelA.L. Oct 24, 2006 05:50 AM

    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. re: oakjoan
      rworange RE: oakjoan Oct 24, 2006 04:01 PM

      I'm curious too. Put the question on the general board

    2. Robert Lauriston RE: SamuelA.L. Oct 24, 2006 03:59 PM

      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. Robert Lauriston RE: SamuelA.L. Oct 24, 2006 04:34 PM

        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. s
          SteveG RE: SamuelA.L. Oct 24, 2006 07:32 PM

          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
            Melanie Wong RE: SteveG Oct 24, 2006 11:00 PM

            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
              SteveG RE: Melanie Wong Oct 25, 2006 07:58 PM

              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
                Melanie Wong RE: SteveG Oct 25, 2006 07:59 PM

                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.

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