Whenever I see a huge slab of guanciale, the cured jowl of a pig used in classic Roman pasta dishes, I always wonder to myself, “How could something that size come from a pig’s face?” I guess I don’t see pigs half as often as I think about eating them and I must forget what beasts they are. When they are full grown, most breeds are just absolutely huge. This weekend I happened upon some pigs in Mudchute Farm, a 32-acre park near Canary Wharf in London. One had particularly developed mandibles and I couldn’t help asking myself another question, “Does this pig know how sad it is that he will never become part of un bel piato d’amatriciana?”

2016-01-07T03:42:06+00:00 February 23rd, 2010|Categories: Daily Food Photo, London, Pork|9 Comments


  1. Mick P February 24, 2010 at 1:22 am - Reply

    I could be wrong, but doesn’t the area used for guanciale extend down along what we non-butchers might think of as the neck? Hence, as you say, the quite incredible size of these slabs.

    • Katie February 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      Not sure about that. My butcher here in London takes it out of the severed head (very little neck attached). Maybe it’s a different cut in Rome?

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