GuancialeThis delicious dish is guanciale di maiale—pig’s jowl. Find the recipe at





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April 2010
Last Updated July 2012

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Meat & Poultry

Meat Cuts: Pork

Pork Glossary Page 4: Guanciale & Other Definitions From D To G


This is Page 4 of a nine-page meat cuts glossary focusing on pork, including terms such as Genoa salami, grade and ground pork. Click on the black links below to visit other pages. See our many other food glossaries.

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Chart courtesy For a more detailed chart, see Page 1.


A heritage pig, the Duroc is a large red hog with loppy (drooping) ears. According to the National Swine Registry, it is the second most recorded breed of swine in the U.S. and a major breed in many other countries. While known for its red color, the Duroc can range from a very light golden, almost yellow color, to a very dark red color that approaches mahogany. These “Red Hogs” were first bred in 1812 in New York and New Jersey. They were popular from the beginning: large in size, with large litters and the ability to gain weight quickly. In 1823, a New York breeder renamed the Red Hog the Duroc, after a famous racehorse. See heritage pork.

A Duroc, or “Red Hog.” Image courtesy University of Missouri.


An emulsified sausages is a cooked sausage whose meat has been finely pulverized, such as bologna, frankfurter and mortadella. In most cases they are smoked and cooked with moist heat (steamed or hot water).


Fabrication refers to a larger piece of meat that is trimmed of excess fat and silver skin and cut into portions of an appropriate serving size. For example, a bone-in pork chop is fabricated from the loin portion of the hog (a primal cut).


Fatback is a layer of subcutaneous fat that can be flavored and cured. It is rendered to make high quality lard and is often added when making sausage and terrines for added texture, flavor and moisture.


See hot dog.


Lean Canadian bacon and “streaky” American bacon. Photo courtesy Burgers’ Smokehouse.


Genoa salami (or salame, in Italian) is named for its northern Italian city of origin. It is a medium textured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and spices.  What makes this particular Genoa special is that it is cured for 3 to 6 months to bring out the flavors.  The result is a smooth textured salami with a pleasant tang.  It is a popular panini (sandwich) with mortadella, Provolone and roasted bell peppers, or served with Parmigiano Reggiano.


See hard salami.


Grilling is a fast method of cooking that includes searing and cooking meat on a grill usually over coals or a gas fire.


Genoa salami from


Guanciale di maiale, literally “jowl of the pig,” is a cured pork jowl—unsmoked streaky bacon made from the pig’s jowl (sometimes called cheek, but they are different parts—see the difference between cheek and jowl). While guanciale is a bacon made from the head of the pig, it can be substituted for the standard bacon that comes from the rib or belly. It is a key ingredient in amatriciana sauce for Buccatini all’Amatriciana (where it is cut into small cubes—many people substitute pancetta), and can stand in for the regular bacon in Spaghetti alla Carbonara. What makes guanciale (pronounced gwon-cha-LAY) so popular is the collagen in the meat. In combination with the creamy fat, the collagen gives anything cooked with guanciale a smooth, silky, succulent covering. Guanciale di manzo is beef cheeks. Guanciale also means “pillow.”

Guanciale available from See a photo of a finished dish at the top of the page.


The USDA grades pork based on its lean meat to fat ratio. USDA 1 has the highest proportion of lean meat to fat and is the most common in supermarkets. USDA 4 has the least amount of lean meat to fat. Good quality pork should have slightly pinkish flesh, with firm, white fat. It should be moist and without a strong smell.


See chorizo.

Ground pork from the picnic shoulder (see diagram at top of page) is used for meatballs, patties, fillings (ravioli, turnovers, meat pies) and sauces.


Continue To Next Page: Pork Definitions H & I

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