Guanciale- unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig’s jowl or cheeks, from Knights Salumi (

Can be used just like bacon, but so much better. Great fennel seeds, herbs and spices give this stuff so much more flavor than generic grocery store bacon.

Personally I like to cut it into small cubes and brown or crisp it in a pan. Then sprinkle it into salads, onto pasta, or just snack on it like crispy little meat potato chips.

Purchase at the Little Italy Mercato in San Diego ( One of San Diego’s best famrers markets. Full of great local products.