Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Mar 18, 2012 11:43 PM

How do you say "salt pork" in Italian?

Trying to get salt pork from a local market in Bangkok where there's a lot of meats labeled in Italian and the staff only speaks Thai...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. interesting question in that "salt pork" is usually the fallback in the US when you can't get actual Italian salt-cured pork and you don't want bacon because it's smoked. "Lardo" would do you. Guanciale, which is the jowl and very fatty and delicious, could be better than salt pork. It's certainly higher up the ladder. Pancetta is from the belly, usually not smoked. If you want it for something like pork and beans, go with lardo, but note that there is some very high-end lardo that tends to be sliced thin and draped on warm focaccia, not buried in the beanpot. If you tell me what you find, I can tell you what they are.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mbfant

      Thanks! This is for a pasta dish... I may have to make a substitution.

      1. re: frogmountain

        You probably want guanciale, for which the usual substitute is pancetta. I'm curious about a pasta dish whose first choice is salt pork. What are you making?

        1. re: mbfant

          Pasta all’Amatriciana. This is a Cook's Illustrated test recipe. I could tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you.

          1. re: frogmountain

            I want to make this dish with guanciale, but it's impossible to find, even in a major American city. So I'm going to settle for pancetta.

            1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

              Guanciale can be made at home with relatively little effort. Mario Batali has a recipe...

              Guanciale can be bought on-line...
              Cambridge MA Formaggio Kitchen in house made:


              1. re: Gio

                I love Formaggio Kitchen but I found their guanciale really pallid. I would have preferred something more robust, including a decent imported pancetta.

                To the OP: if the recipe calls for salt pork, that is because they assume you can't get guanciale. The first choice for amatriciana is always guanciale, the second choice is pancetta. Occasionally you'll find someone who prefers pancetta, but that is not a crime.

                1. re: mbfant

                  I've had to make Pasta all’Amatriciana with pancetta in the past. It really wasn't too bad. When I asked the clerk at J. Pace and Son in Boston for guanciale, he looked at me and with a dead pan face said, "You mean Guacamole." I had a good laugh over that.