Guanciale is an Italian cured meat product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks. Its name is derived from guancia, the Italian word for 'cheek'.
Cured guanciale pork cheek is made with Italian heavy pork meat taken from the cheek, conserved in salt and pepper and cleaned by hand. Triangular in shape because it is hand shaped, it is ultra-sweet tasting with a savoury touch which makes it both appetising in flavour and highly versatile in cooking.
Guanciale may be cut and eaten directly in small portions, but is often used as a pasta ingredient. It is used in dishes like spaghetti alla carbonara and sauces like sugo all'amatriciana.
It is a specialty of central Italy, particularly Umbria.