Guanciale vs. Pancetta (Similarities and Differences Explained)

Pancetta is often confused with guanciale.
What’s the difference between these two Italian delicacies?
Guanciale is a cured pork jowl, while pancetta is a salt-cured pork belly.
Both are used in cooking but there are differences between the two.
1 In this blogpost I’m going to compare the similarities and differences between guanciale and pancetta.

What Is Guanciale?

Guanciale is a type of cured pork jowl meat. It is similar to pancetta but is not as salty. It is usually used in Italian cuisine. How To Make Guanciale 1. Cut the guanciale into 1/2 inch thick slices.

What Is Pancetta?

Pancetta is a type of cured bacon. It is usually used for making sausages. How To Make Pancetta 1. Cut the pancetta into 1/2 inch wide strips.

What Are the Similarities Between Guanciale and Pancetta?

Guanciale and pancetta are similar because they are both types of cured pork belly. However, guanciale is Italian while pancetta is from Italy. Both are delicious but they have different flavors.

What Are the Differences Between Guanciale and Pancetta?

Pancetta is a type of cured meat product that originated in Italy. It is usually made from the fatty belly part of the pig. It is typically used as a flavoring agent in many dishes such as pasta sauces, soups, stews, and casseroles. It is sometimes referred to as bacon. Guanciale is a type of cured pork jowl. It is very flavorful and is traditionally served in Italian cuisine. It is often cooked and eaten along side other meats. It is often used in sausages and salami.


Guanciale is a traditional Italian dry-cured ham made from the cheek area of the pig. It comes in two varieties: white guanciale made from lean cuts and black guanciale made with fat. White guanciale is generally sold uncut, while black guanciale is cut into slices. Both types of guanciale are cured using salt, pepper, spices, and sugar. Black guanciale is aged longer than white guanciale, resulting in a darker color and richer flavor.


Pancetta is a type of salted pork belly, usually from the belly of the pig. It is used primarily in Italian cuisine, but is also popular in other cuisines such as Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Asian. Pancetta is typically sliced thin and served raw, though it can be cooked. In Italy, pancetta is traditionally eaten thinly sliced and fried in olive oil, but it is also sometimes grilled or smoked. Pancetta is available in different sizes, ranging from about 1/4 pound 113 g to 2 pounds 907 g.

Cured for

Pancetta is cured for a long period of time usually around 3 months to develop flavor. During this curing process, salt is added to the meat, along with sugar, spices, herbs, and nitrites. This mixture is then packed into casings and hung to dry. Once dried, the pancetta is ready to eat.

Made from

Cured pork belly is made from pork bellies that have been salted and seasoned. It is then smoked and aged until it reaches the desired tenderness.

Spices traditionally used

Pork belly is usually cured with salt, sugar, spices, and sometimes other ingredients such as garlic, ginger, and black pepper. These ingredients help preserve the meat while giving it flavor.

Can you eat the outside of guanciale?

Pancetta is cured pork belly while guanciale is from the cheek area of the pig. Pancetta is usually smoked while guanciale is unsmoked.

Why is guanciale better than pancetta?

Yes, guanciale is very similar to bacon in taste, texture, and appearance. However, guanciale is not quite as salty as bacon. In addition, guanciale does not have the same smoky flavor that bacon has. How long can guanciale last? Answer: Guanciale can last for months if stored properly. It can be refrigerated for several weeks or frozen for longer periods of time.

How is guanciale different from pancetta?

Guanciale is a type of Italian salted pork jowl, similar to pancetta. It is usually sold sliced and grilled. Guanciale is typically served cooked, either thinly sliced or chopped. It is sometimes smoked and aged. Pancetta is a dry-cured form of Italian bacon. It is usually sold uncut and unsliced. Pancetta is usually served raw. Bacon is a generic term for any cut of meat that has been cured and dried.

What is the difference between guanciale pancetta and bacon?

Pancetta is cured pork belly while guanciale is cured pig cheek. Both are delicious, but guanciale is leaner and has a milder flavor. Pancetta is often used in place of guanciale because it’s easier to slice.

How do you eat guanciale?

Guanciale is usually eaten sliced thinly and added to pasta dishes, soups, and other Italian dishes. It is traditionally served cold, but it can also be cooked and served hot. Guanciale is typically served with bread and olive oil.

What is the difference between pancetta and guanciale?

Pancetta is a dry salted form of pork belly, while guanciale is a wetter version of the same thing. Both are delicious, but guanciale tends to be sweeter and softer. Pancetta is generally cut into thin slices and used in salads, while guanciale tends to get thicker cuts and is better suited for cooking.

Can you eat guanciale like bacon?

Guanciale is a type of cured pork jowl that is used in Italian cuisine. It is typically served thinly sliced and fried in olive oil. Guanciale is usually sold in blocks and comes from the pig’s cheek. It is similar to bacon but not quite as fatty. It is sometimes called "cured fatback" because it is cured using salt and spices. It is also known as "lardo di Colonnata".