Pancetta and Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe

8 Reasons to Keep Guanciale on Hand

Guanciale is Italian dry cured pork jowl seasoned with a blend of savory spices, salt, and pepperoncino. It’s higher concentration of fat and blend of spices, provide versatility across a variety of recipes. Let’s explore 8 reasons why you should always keep Guanciale on hand.

1) Pantry Pasta

This is the most popular reason cooking connoisseurs choose to use Guanciale. When you feel the craving to enjoy a hearty plate of pasta, it helps to have an ingredient that is capable of incorporating rich flavor.

Guanciale is commonly used in pasta dishes like Carbonara and Amatriciana, by rendering the fat and stirring in salty Pecorino or acidic crushed tomatoes to create a delicious balanced dish. 

2) Flavorful Oil

This is not like your bacon fat can of childhood. Like we just mentioned, rendering out Guanciale in a pan allows its unique oil to start to infusing flavor. Well, if you’ve ever fried your own bacon, you know that there is something magical about cooking other ingredients in the residual oil that’s left after. A bagel lightly browned up in that oil is the reason some people make it out of bed on the weekends.

Guanciale is no different, in fact, it brings unique tastes to the table that you can’t find anywhere else. Consider toasting up some fresh bread to enjoy alongside the delicious Guanciale you just cooked up.

3) Late Night Fried Rice

Not all foods satiate our late-night cravings equally. Homemade fried rice is perfect for when you come home with a burning hunger and have just your basic kitchen staples on hand.  

Combine day-old rice, vegetables, and protein that you enjoy in your comfort food. If you want to elevate your experience, consider swapping in rich, flavorful Guanciale. Try out our recipe for Guanciale Fried Rice and see how the taste of the dish takes a new direction. You’re only 20 minutes from satisfying every late-night craving.

4) A Rainy Day

Some days are meant for taking on every errand, social appointment, and to-do list. However, sometimes you have enough free time to try out something you’ve been meaning to for a long time.

Cooking with Guanciale and other high quality salumi is a great way to spend a rainy day flexing your growing culinary mastery. Their flavor profiles are exquisite but need some care when incorporating them with other ingredients. Try out some of our unique recipes like this one for Tea Smoked Duck Breasts and Guanciale. Challenge yourself to use new ingredients while you have the time to learn.

Ramen HERO

5) Ramen Night

Despite the images of dorm room microwave nightmares that it typically conjures for the uninitiated, ramen is a high-quality meal that can be enjoyed on any occasion. When prepared with the proper care, ramen can outshine many household favorites.

One aspect of ramen that affords it such praise is its versatility. Most broths, proteins, veggies, and toppings can be mixed and matched to completely change the flavor of any given bowl. Unsurprisingly, when you add rendered Guanciale to the mix, it blends with the broth to create a deep pork flavor. Don’t believe us? Try out what we consider to be simply The Best Shio Ramen and tell us what you think.

6) Brunch

Is there anything better than sleeping in, inviting friends over, and enjoying a meal with foods you never really enjoy at any normal meal? Funny enough, there is. Take that entire process and add decadent cured meats to the lineup.

Brunch has quickly become a cultural phenomenon here in the US and crowds of people find time to break out the best for themselves and their guests. We are Brunch enthusiasts, and we encourage you to bring something new and exciting to your next mimosa laden meal. A great suggestion is our own take on a Sweet and Savory Waffle that makes great use of Guanciale. Don’t let yourself miss the opportunity to make your next brunch the best one yet.

7) As a Reward

Obviously, we love to think of meats like Guanciale as an everyday staple, something that drops in some joy in spurts throughout the week. But it’s also nice to savor the finer things in life. One way to make sure that you don’t overdo it is to treat them like a reward after a hard day’s work.

It only takes a small amount to deliver a deep flavor that’s seasoned with vibrant pepperoncini fragrance and other spices. Consider rendering out some cubed Guanciale and topping your final salad of the week with it to provide a nice guilty pleasure with a healthy meal.

If you’re looking for a good snack fix for your cured meat cravings, check out our Roltini Singles and Small Bites, products made for that very purpose.

8) For when wine is necessary

We’re likely all familiar with the pleasure of enjoying one or two glasses of our favorite wine with a nice meal. But, there are also those times when we simply feel like enjoying a glass on it’s own. Wine was meant to be enjoyed with other high-quality artisan goods. There are a multitude of items that can elevate your wine experience, but salumi like Guanciale do this especially well.

While you won’t find anyone typically enjoying a simple slice of Guanciale with their wine, it can be wonderful to combine with your favorite snack recipes for pairings that complement each other. As for what wine to try out with Guanciale, a solid recommendation is a sparkling wine like a Spumanti, Prosecco, or classic Champagne if the mood suits you.


Whatever your reason for stocking the fridge with some quality cured pork jowl, it’s great to remember that these ingredients are part of a long and storied tradition of culinary innovation. Multi-generational artisans prepare these meats in small batches, with techniques that ensure a worthwhile experience and an unmatchable taste. So, embrace that tradition and look forward to the many reasons you’ll find to keep Guanciale around.