Ciao! I live in the south bay region of northern California. I've tried in vain to locate a source to purchase guanciale, either directly or from a retail shop.
I share your frustration. So far, I haven't been successful in finding guanciale from a retail source in Los Angeles. I think the best strategy may be to find a source for guancia (fresh uncured hog's cheeks) and cure them yourself. Another approach may be to beg and plead with the chef at a restaurant that uses real guanciale in its cooking to sell you some. I know that at both Vincente's and Alto Palato, in Los Angeles, the chefs cure their own guanciale.
If I am able to find a source for guanciale, believe me, I'll share it. But don't hold your breath.
Should this post be in SF board ?
I suggest trying Whole Foods (I saw it at WF-Pasadena), but better would be Italian Market/Delis. I trust you've already chkd some, but I'm sure there are Italian markets in SF/LA that carry it..
I think guanciale is 1 of those up and coming foods becoming more available, like burrata.
re: gremly girl
Am I imaging things or was there a post here yesterday by a chef at the Sheraton in North San Diego County that said he/she had just return from Italy where he/she add studied pork prservation from a master and was currently curing some gusnciale and speck. He/She offered to share some of it. I replied with a thank you and asked how much he/she wanted for his/her porcine products.
Now it seems both posts are gone. I was really interested. :-(
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