Though guanciale is Italian for "pillow," this cured meat takes its name from guancia ("cheek") because the meat comes from pork jowl. It's cured for a month in salt, pepper, chili powder and sometimes sugar, then hung and aged for another month before being ready for market. Guanciale can be used as a substitute for pancetta in sauces or as a flavoring for other dishes.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.