First Belly, Now Cheek: The Pork Obsession Continues


Everyone seems to be speculating on what dining trend will be next year’s pork belly. Some say lamb necks, others say fried chicken (although hasn’t that already fallen under the umbrella of ’09 food fads?). Meanwhile, the obsession with pork might not be over just yet. Belly may have become a bore, but butt is still interesting. And cheek may be the darling of the day.

Trattoria Cinque would like you to take note that it is now serving two dishes made with guanciale — a pizza, as well as a pasta dish — as are several others restaurants, including Convivio, Maialino, Locanda Verde, and Franny’s. Guanciale is an unsmoked Italian bacon made of pig’s cheeks (guancia), rubbed with salt and pepper and cured for three weeks. It’s a central Italian specialty, with a flavor more intense than pancetta but a texture more delicate. Whether it pops up on other menus remains to be seen but, in any case, it’s bacon. And we all know that’s a mania that shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.


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