Where can I get guanciale in Orlando?
I would love to recreate one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had, spaghettoni all'amatriciana at Chazz: A Bronx Original, a Baltimore restaurant owned by actor Chazz Palmintieri. However, the spaghettoni pasta is super-rare, and so is guanciale, apparently.
I eventually connected with bucatini pasta at the Cost Plus World Market in Sanford, after coming up empty at Publix, Costco, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Cavallari Gourmet in Oviedo. The dish is often made with bucatini, so that should be a fine substitution for spaghettoni (thick, solid pasta strands, whereas bucatini is thick but hollow).
However, I'm at a loss as to where to find guanciale, since none of those places had it either. Today I blew the minds of the nice people at Fresh Market, who had never heard of it and even checked a reference book behind the deli counter, which didn't even mention it. I guess I could substitute pancetta, but the dish at Chazz's restaurant was so sublime with the guanciale (the only time I've ever had it, as far as I know), I don't want to mess too much with perfection.
Any ideas, fellow Orlandoans? And am I even pronouncing it right? I'm saying "GWAN-chee-ah-lay."
I tried Petty's yesterday, but they didn't have it either. My wife says to give up until the next time we find ourselves in New York (and who knows when that will be).
All Italian Market would be a schlep, but I know you love that place. I think it would be worth a visit some time, whether they have it or not!
If you are REALLY dedicated to getting this right, you can order it from Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Seattle and they'll ship it to you. This is from Mario Battali's father's place, and if you look under "our basket of products" under "For Chefs", you'll find it. You'll need to call them and place an order and shipping can be high, but their quality is AMAZING so it might be fun to try it once.
There is also a cheaper option here from igourmet:
Those are tempting, but I'm never THAT dedicated to getting it right!
However, the annual conference for my job industry is going to be held in Seattle in 2013, and I'm already planning, over a year down the road, to make a special pilgrimage to Salumi. I think I will love Seattle so much I'll never come back to Florida, but that's a ways off. I'll probably just buy some pancetta at Publix in the meantime.
I own Chazz: A Bronx Original along with Chazz. Thank you for the great compliment. I love to hear that people enjoyed their visit. And Amatriciana is def one of my favorite dishes... it's one of my go-to's.
Most of our salumi is either housecured or made for us in small batches in NY; howver, for great guanciale and salumi, visit Boccalone's website. Chris Cosentino makes really great stuff in small quantities in San Fran. They ship everywhere. Panceta is also a fine substitue. In fact, they also sell a package that includes guanciale & pancetta, so you can compare both. (Try the n'duja, too. Spicy Calabrese spreadable pork sausage. Incredible).
Mario's recipe is a good one (see link below). We make all of our pasta in-house every day, but good dried pasta substitutes for spaghettini include bucatini or, even better, perciatelli.
Happy cooking! And thanks again.
Wow, Sergio, thank you so much for responding here! My wife and I absolutely loved your restaurant, and we still talk about it today as one of the best Italian meals we've ever had. Any chance of you and Chazz deciding to expand to Orlando, Florida? It would be a huge hit here.
I think when I finally make all'amatriciana, I'll end up using Mario's recipe with bucatini and pancetta, but it still won't be as good as yours. You are doing everything right in Baltimore!
I'm new to Orlando, but my first bet would be Antonio's Deli department...try calling before hand.