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Aug 18, 2009 03:06 PM

Local markets for Guanciale?

I just read a Bitman article on pasta carbonara and he was pushing using guanciale instead of pancetta or bacon.

While I suspect that I would be able to find some in the North End, I wonder if anyone has seen guanciale in markets around Boston?


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  1. Formaggio South End has had that IIRC (call to check), and, as you note, Salumeria Italiana in the North End has it as well. I would say though that if you can get a good pancetta I think it will do as well....Bittman is probably just trying to raise awareness of less popular salumi though I have not read the article. Where was the article written?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Zatan

      Here's the original article:

      I got to it from his recent blog post:

      Thanks to all for the leads!

      1. re: steinpilz

        Mario Batali uses guanciale for his Spaghetti alla Carbonara too.

      1. Lionettes in the south end pretty much always seems to have it.

        1. Well I know from experience Pace does not carry guanciale... they don't carry speck either....

          1. I've tried it both ways and have not noticed a huge difference in flavor. Disclaimer: I cured both meats myself, and used similar cure mixture/spices, so maybe that is why they were so similar?

            Guanciale is only slightly more meaty in my experience, so has slightly more meaty flavor - but very slight - this seems the main difference.

            Formaggio always seems to have guanciale.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lisa13

              So did you buy a whole pig? If no, how did you acquire the different cuts? Perhaps I'm being naiive, but buying/butchering/curing/freezing a whole pig sounds pretty fun.

              1. re: steinpilz

                actually I bought a half hog - the farmers usually have it butchered to customer specs, then you pick it up and take it home and just go nuts with it =) I can't imagine they would care if you wanted to take it whole/half as-is, without the butchering, and you'd save money, but would have to find a way to dispose of any waste.

                I used to buy from Winrose farm in NH as they free range their pigs - REALLY nice people, too.

                But aside from that, I think you can get these cuts at a good butcher or a place like blood farm. You need pork belly for the pancetta (hell, you can get that in any asian market) and pork jowl for the guanciale (I would also look for these at an asian market just in case).

                1. re: lisa13

                  Savenors' in Cambridge usually has some funky cured meat parts..I don't eat them, but I was really impressed by the selection behind their butcher counter. IIRC, guanciale was one of them...