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Guanciale is cheek pork lard covered with black pepper, and matured for at least 40 days to let the flavours develop over time. A fatty cut that is often thinly sliced, it has a sweet, buttery and peppery taste. The name is derived from guancia, the Italian word for cheek. When sliced, it has a beautiful white colour with pinkish veins.
Salumificio Lusetti is a third-generation family-owned business in Suzzara, a small comune between Parma and Mantua, which supplies some of the best pork scratchings, sausages, salami and sausages in Lombardy.
Many celebrated pasta dishes are made with guanciale, including spaghetti alla carbonara with Parmigiano Reggiano, bucatini all'amatriciana with San Marzano tomatoes and Pecorino Romano and pasta alla gricia with Pecorino Romano. The fat lends marvellous flavour to lesser known pasta dishes too, including pasta and fava beans, and tagliatelle con guanciale e zucca (pumpkin).