Guanciale - Out and Tasted

The guanciale I hung about a month ago was finally ready, so I pulled it out for tasting and slicing.  This particular meat came from Blessed Creek Farm and the processor that is used skins instead of scalds, and does a mediocre job which results in a thinner area of fat around the jowl.  The meat however, is fantastic as we've been eating it since we purchased it and it's incredibly juicy. Back to the guanciale...

As you can see in some of the photos, there is some of the white M-600 mold that I sprayed on the Salame di Sant'Olcese on the jowl from them touching while in the chamber.  Not a big deal though and those slices had a bit of a tang to them.

The jowl was thinner than what you'd expect as a result of it being a bit of a younger and smaller hog, but the taste was fantastic, with a bit of pepper on the start and a nice sweet finish from the pastured pork.  This is a perfect example of my philosophy of getting good ingredients and just staying out of the way.  The fat was incredibly nice and had that great combination of being incredibly soft while not being mushy, think of the greatest lip balm you've ever tasted.

As with everything, there is always something to improve and on this one, there was some dry rim on certain areas of the jowl, and in the future I may cure at a lower temperature and perhaps rub some lard on the exposed meat areas for a little protection.  These pieces took approximately 29 days in the chamber, and for this size, that seems about the right amount of time.

All in all I give it a 6.5 out of ten, but a great start with the first item out of the chamber.