Travel almost anywhere in central Italy and it probably won’t be long before you encounter a white truck parked in a square or at a roadside, usually with a picture of a pig on the side. It will most likely have attracted a small crowd, smoke will be rising lazily from the chimney on its roof, and on the air will drift the irresistible aroma of roasting pork. This is the porchetta van, and if you ever come across one, stop, order a porchetta panino and savour the salty, herby, succulent pork inside.
Porchetta’s culinary status in Italy is recognised by no less an authority than the Italian Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali as a traditional agricultural-alimentary product, and one of a long list of time-honoured Italian foods determined to have cultural relevance. Traditionally a suckling pig is used, boned, stuffed with wild herbs and spit-roasted to deliciousness over a wood fire. Continue reading