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Guanciale in Austin

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One of the posts about Primizie reminded me — I,too, am on a quest for guanciale to make bucatini all'amatriciana. I heard Mandola's had it, went, was told them were temporarily out and had to settle for pancetta. The next time I went, I was told they couldn't get it any more. Any word from the Hounds on whether they'll ever have it again or if I can get it somewhere else in Austin? Thanks.

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  1. You probably read my post that I bought some at Mandola's. That was only a few weeks ago. Since I hadn't seen it there, I bought a whole pound, half of which I still have (frozen). I think the key is to talk to a certain guy there - the others just give you blank stares.

    If for some reason you can't find it, I can give you what I have left.....It's pretty fatty, which I think is the point.

    5 Replies
    1. re: rudeboy

      Thanks for the kind offer, Rudeboy. I'll see if I can't scope out the right guy at Mandola's. It's listed as available on their board, or at least was last week. Meanwhile: Mmm...fat...

      1. re: pbeach

        how do you pronounce that?

        1. re: NirvRush

          Fiesta has had it for the last 9-10 years....as has City Market on Airport blvd.

          1. re: scrumptiouschef

            What do they call it?

            1. re: scrumptiouschef

              Yeah, what do they call it there?

      2. Thanks, all. I'll check out Fiesta and CM. NirvRush, I believe it's guan (as in "Guantanamo)-chee-AA-lee. But it's been too long since I was pressed to speak much Italian.

        4 Replies
        1. re: pbeach

          pbeach, i think i know you...sambamaster, here. Pancetta and guanciale are easy to make at home. but not in summer around here. I have three "cheeks" (actually pillow in Italian) with me right now. they cure for a week or two in the fridge, then hang 2-3 three weeks to dry in a cool place if you can find one. then you're done. it's a bit more complicated than that but not much. it helps to add seasonings to the salt curing mix, and then rub lightly with a bit of pepper for the drying stage.
          or, if you don't want to make your own and can't find locally, check with Salumeria Biellese in NYC, theirs is not overpriced and very good and they ship. it's the real deal.

          1. re: pbeach

            Guan-chah-lay. The accent goes on the second syllable. It is derived of the word Guancia, guan-chah, which is the singular "cheek".

            1. re: amexarhos

              Guancia means cheek, and guanciale means pillow, cheeks and pillows are the same shape, thus the connection. don't have my etymology in front of me, also, the cheek goes onto the pillow. hmmm...
              in any case, I love a guancia full of guanciale. homemade or otherwise.
              I think it is amazing that Fiesta has it. Is it on display? Or do you have to ask?

            2. re: pbeach

              FYI - I was at Mandola's yesterday, and they said that they'd have it in on Tuesday.....

            3. I know that Mandola's - the winery location not the triangle - are making their own charcuterie. Do you happen to know if they are making their Guanciale in house?

              1. I stopped by Mandola's for the first time and, no, they did not have guanciale. But to add to a coupla rudeboy's comments -

                1) The dude's name who knows about the guanciale is Oscar Marquez, Exec Chef.

                2) Oscar tells me you can special order your guanciale and pick it up a coupla days later. If you order on Saturday, you'll get it on Tuesday. Order Tuesday, you'll get it Thursday. And so on.

                They also proudly advertise lardo and cotechino, but those need to be special ordered as well.

                I found the market largely unimpressive, but picked up some fresh sausage which was pretty good - fennel-heavy, but good.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Nab

                  Is this the same as Jowl Bacon? If so, the good folks of Peach Creek Farms have it on Saturday mornings at the downtown Farmer's Market.

                  1. re: foodiegal71

                    Depends. Guanciale isn't smoked, only cured in salt and spices (in can be pepper, chile, rosemary, etc.) and then hung to dry. Don't know what the Peach Creek folks do.

                    It is very easy to make at home.

                2. if anyone is still looking for another resource for Guanciale, i purchased some at Central Market (38th/Lamar) this past week, and enjoyed it. i'd never had it before, so i can't compare the quality.

                  alekz

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: charlie_b

                    I liked the Guanciale we got here a couple weeks ago, but it was expensive. No need for a special order, they were even advertising it at the meet counter. It took my service man about 5 minutes to find it, and he had never heard of it before.

                    Then again, I just found out that I've been pronouncing it wrong, so maybe it was me?

                  2. Central Market on N. Lamar has guanciale as well. I'm not sure of the price. I believe it's domestic, artisinal, and expensive. If you can get it at Mandola's, it's almost certain to be cheaper, since just about everything there is less expensive than the same stuff at Central Market. To go slightly off topic, Mandola's also has a domestic, organic and delicious lardo, cured with rosemary and black pepper. It's got that sweet, smooth finish of not-tortured pork and I think it's $10.95/lb.