It’s all about the Guanciale.
Americans call for ordinary bacon or Italian pancetta, but guanciale, oh guanciale, you are a heaven to the mouth. Guanciale which means pillow in Italian, has an especially rich, sweetly porky flavor and a buttery texture. This particular cut is made from pork cheeks. Also referred to as the jowl bacon of the United States. The meat is washed in wine, seasoned and left in a stone niche for 40 days to marinate. I wish I could do that to myself. After that they hang it to dry and presto - you can eat it. You don't really eat raw guanciale - it is a highly savory piece of white pig fat better used for cooking. Like bacon and pancetta, guanciale has a high fat to meat ratio which translates into a meltingly tender texture with a deep, sweet-savory pork flavor. If pressed, guanciale has a richer flavor and a softer texture than either bacon or pancetta. You just might fall in love with the stuff.