Porchetta, noun: A Southern Italian dish of roasted suckling pig stuffed with wild fennel and garlic
Friends of ours who have traveled in Italy come back singing praises about this iconic Italian dish - making us grind our teeth in envy. This is one culinary adventure we'd love to have!
Porchetta is traditionally made with a whole suckling pig that has been deboned, stuffed, and rolled back into shape. The head, legs, and trotters are also often left on. It gets roasted incredibly slowly on a spit over a wood fire so that the skin gets crackling crisp and the fatty meat becomes melt-in-your mouth tender.
The wild fennel used as stuffing is apparently like none other found elsewhere in the world, and porchetta made with any other kind of fennel just isn't quite the same. Besides the fennel and garlic, porchetta is also heavily salted and sometimes contains the chopped liver from the pig.
Like whole roasted pigs world wide, porchetta is a celebration dish made when friends and family gather together for special occasions. It's either sliced thinly and simply eaten on its own, or it gets shredded like pulled pork and served as a sandwich on bread. It can be served warm or cold.
Have you ever had porchetta? If so, please share! (We'll try not to get too jealous.)
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(Image: Flickr member Pedro Angelini licensed under Creative Commons)