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Pork jowl

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sliced jowl bacon
Fried pork jowl

Pork jowl is a cut of pork from a pig's cheek. It is sometimes called jowl bacon or hog jowl in some parts of America. In the United States, it is often used in soul food.[1] It is used worldwide, including the cured non-smoked Italian version called guanciale.[2][3]

Culinary[change | change source]

Jowl bacon can be fried and eaten as a main course, similar to streaky bacon. Often, jowls are as a seasoning for beans, black-eyed peas or cooked with leafy green vegetables such as collard greens or turnip greens.[4][5]

Jowl meat may also be chopped and used as a garnish, similar to bacon bits,[6] or served in sandwich form.[7] Pork jowl can be used in pork liver sausages such as liverwurst and braunschweiger, to help the meat stick together.

Traditions in the US[change | change source]

In the Southern United States, there is a tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens with either pork jowls or fatback on New Year's Day. This is to ensure prosperity in the new year. The tradition goes back hundreds of years.[8] During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), the peas were thought to represent wealth, while the Northern army considered the food to be fit as livestock feed only. Some people saw pigs as symbols of "wealth and gluttony" and eating jowls or fatback on New Year's Day guaranteed a good new year.[9]

Storage[change | change source]

Pork jowl can be cured. This made it a traditional wintertime food as it is able to be stored for long periods of time without refrigeration.


References[change | change source]

  1. Gillespie, Carmen (2009). Toni Morrison: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work. Infobase Publishing. p. 343. ISBN 9781438108575. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  2. Fabricant, Florence (September 13, 2011). "Pork Jowl With a Backwoods Whiff". New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  3. May, Tony (June 1, 2005). Italian Cuisine: The New Essential Reference to the Riches of the Italian Table. Macmillan. p. 11. ISBN 9780312302801. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  4. Hedgepeth, William; Findley, John; Clayton, Al (2008). The Hog Book. University of Georgia Press. p. 23. ISBN 9780820332734. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  5. Galiano, Amanda (December 31, 2010). "Hog Jowls and Pork: Explaining Southern New Year's Traditions". About.com. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  6. Gold, Jonathan (July 27, 2012). "Counter Intelligence: Next Door by Josie". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  7. Cox, Greg. "Little Hen's agrarian accent leaves a mouth-watering experience". News Observer. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  8. Credeur, Mary Jane (December 30, 2006). "Eating hog jowls may bring luck, at high price". Union-Tribune. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  9. Leada Gore (December 31, 2016). "Why do we eat black-eyed peas, hog jowls and greens on New Year's Day?". AL.com. Retrieved June 1, 2017.