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Typical Italian cured meats: Guanciale

Typical Italian cured meats: Guanciale


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Pig cheek

Also called seasoned cheek, it is obtained from the cheek (cheek, in Tuscan) and from the throat of the pig. It is salted and tanned like bacon, then it is seasoned for two months.
Depending on the regions, the type of tanning used changes: in Lazio aromas such as garlic, sage and rosemary are preferred, while in Emilia Romagna we tend to use only salt. It is similar in appearance to flat bacon, even if it has less fat.
It can be enjoyed au naturel, thinly sliced ​​or just warmed and then placed on slices of tasteless bread. Its true vocation, however, is to end up in sauces, especially allamatriciana and carbonara.

Pillow (photo www.suite101.com)

Pillow (photo www.anticabasilicata.it)

The processing of the pillow involves four phases:
- salting, that is, the meat is sprinkled with a mixture of salt and spices, according to the traditional recipe;
- cold rest, to allow salt and aromas to distribute evenly in the meat;
- after massaging, the product is left to dry in special rooms, for a period ranging from 3 to 5 days;
- at the end of drying, the seasoning period begins, which will last no less than 2 months.


Video: BASTURMA PASTIRMA (August 2022).