Visit Greve in Chianti Saturday market for porchetta - wood-roasted whole pig

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Porchetta - Tuscan whole roast pork

Porchetta - Tuscan roast pork
Porchetta ready to slice

Porchetta sandwich
Porchetta sandwich

Porchetta, or rather, a porchetta sandwich, basically consists of roast pork between two halves of a bread roll. You should supervise its assembly carefully, indicating whether you want lean meat or plenty of fat ("grassa"), the latter being recommended for easier swallowing. You can also specify how many garlic cloves you want, if any, and whether you want a piece of crackling included. The pig is roasted whole, over wood if it's done properly, and is heavily salted in addition to being stuffed with garlic, rosemary and other herbs. The bread is unsalted and doesn't keep, so eat it when you buy it. In addition, the salt induces thirst which can be difficult to deal with if you take your porchetta on a country hike.

Porchetta is usually available at one or more stands at fairs and weekly markets. Go where the crowd goes - they know who prepares it best! (Click the images to see what they're all watching so carefully.)

Anna Maria Baldini

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