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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Of pigs and pork in the hills outside Rome: when gourmet cooking meets us

Looking for porchetta in Ariccia

Found it!  Dianne watches her sandwich being made
We have to admit a craving for porchetta - that's the roast pork that is sold at road side stands, and also in shops around southern Italy.  But the classic porchetta is from a small town, Ariccia, in the hills outside Rome, the Colli Albani.

We heard from our friend, B, in the States, that even Gourmet Magazine had found its way to Ariccia.   Glad you finally made it, we say.

the view towards the Agra Pontina
Looking back at Ariccia from its bridge
Ariccia sits perched on the side of the hills with sweeping views of the plains that lead to the Mediterranean (the Agro Pontino - or Pontine Marshes, now densely inhabited after the Mussolini government's reclamation efforts).  It's a fun town to visit, with its tiny shops, many of them selling just porchetta. 

Ariccia is full of porchetta and pig references.  We rather like this anthropomorphic pig holding a piece of his own species (photo right).

You can get a sandwich to go - the best way to eat your porchetta.  You may not be used to the large piece of salty skin they throw in the sandwich.  And you can hit a bone now and then (Bill lost a piece of tooth to one years ago)- so caveat emptor.

Buon porchetta!


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