Friday, September 5, 2014

Italian Food: La Porchetta

“You can't just eat good food. You've got to talk about it too. And you've got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.”  Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird

#Italian food is great, and not just because it is tasty, but because in this country they still eat like people did a hundred years ago.  "From farm to table" is not only a trend or a catchy phrase, it is a reality, and #Italians, specially those in the countryside, would not dare to touch processed food.  They normally know where their food comes from, do you?

Last weekend, I had the luxury of visiting my husband's Italian relatives up in northern Italy.  Even though we were planning on taking them out for dinner to thank them for their hospitality, that was impossible, because all the meals had already been planned, and you can't say No to your Italian relatives, specially when it comes to anything related to food. We had wonderful #homecooked meals.  One of the days, for dessert we had a simple gelato with blueberry jam on top.  They had picked the blueberries themselves and made their own jam.  I certainly have lots to learn about eating Italian-style.

Every town, or at least that is what it seems, has a type of festival dedicated to their local #cuisine or a product that grows on their land.  And like that, you have the #Festival (called #Sagra in Italian) of the Strawberry in Nemi, the Sagra del Tartufo in Gubbio or the upcoming Sagra della #Porchetta in #Ariccia.

The Porchetta is a gutted and deboned pig that is seasoned (typically with garlic and fennel) and rolled to form an enormous pork loin and then roasted over wood.  If you like meat, you would love a porchetta or a porchetta sandwich.  Porchetta is normally sold at fairs and at food trucks.  It is also served at large family gatherings or parties.

The town of Ariccia, 40 minutes south east of Rome, is synonymous with porchetta, and they host the Festival or Sagra of the Porchetta this weekend (September 5, 6 & 7 for info or reservations call 347.43.96.147).   The most popular Sagras can get very crowded and it's better to make reservations or go really early.

If you go to Ariccia any time other than during their Porchetta Festival you can always savor their famous dish.  A local recommended the restaurant  La Arriciarola (Via Borgo S. Rocco, 9, Ariccia) and I have to say, I couldn't finish their sample menu, the food just kept coming.

I hope I can find some time to visit Ariccia this weekend but if not, here is a website that list all the Sagras in Italy (click here).


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