August 3, 2011

PIgging Out Tuscan Style- Porchetta

For my 500th post I decided to dedicate it to pigging out. Pork is so popular in Tuscany and most of my clients adore visiting and tasting at the markets and butcher shops. I thought I would let the rest of you come on my virtual tour.

I am very lucky to be able to buy my meats from artisan butchers, but also that the level or quality and expertise at our local grocery stores is very high.

Where else can you go to a grocery store and order your pork belly to make some pancetta, buy the salts and herbs already blended and get instructions?

As we begin our Market Tour in Florence, one of our first stops is the local Pork Butcher, called a Norcineria.


Norcia is a city in Umbria famous for its Pork Butchers.This shop is a candy store for those that love anything PORK. Prosciutto's from Parma, San Daniele, San Illaria, Umbria and Tuscany and the famous Culatello. Salami from wild boar as well as with truffles and chili infused 'nduja. Mortadella and head cheese, Lardo from Colonnata--- hello cholesterol!

The back of the shop has the fresh meat and the other day when I was walking around, the butcher was preparing a side of pork to be roasted as porchetta, which is also sold in the shop, both fresh and cooked.

They make a "small" porchetta, using just one half of the hog.

The pork is boned out, one rib at a time




from the Central Market in San Lorenzo- another porchetta for sale


each butcher has his own blend for the porchetta

dario cecchini sells porchetta by the slice, cooked

The basic seasoning for your porchetta is a blend of sage, rosemary and salt, finely chopped with sea salt. Some butchers add black pepper and fennel seeds as well.

Often at the weekly food market or on food trucks parked on the side of the road, the whole roasted hog, head and all, is served as a sandwich. The meat is thinly sliced and served with some of the crispy skin and probably a slice of the liver which is roasted on the inside of the whole hog.

at Pork's in the Florence San Lorenzo Food Market

the liver is the dark part in the center



Here is the link to my own home version of the Tuscan Herb mixture  for you to create your own porchetta at home.



If a whole hog it too big for your family, check out this version I found in the Vucceria market in Palermo. I adore it! Rolled pork belly stuffed with spring onions.

Vucceria open air market- Palermo

At my weekly market in Colle Val D'Elsa, the local porchetta man, Leonardo from Impruneta, has gotten creative and also does a "drunken porchetta" for sandwiches.



Leonardo slices some of the roasted pork and then sautes it with a little olive oil and splashes with white wine. It steams on the griddle and then he adds some balsamic vinegar and it is ready to eat. For us to share he gives us a basket with the toppings on the side, sliced tomatoes and his secret sauce.

Here are some of my favorite pork posts:
Naples-style ragu
Tuscan Mixed Grill for San Lorenzo ( August 10th)
Milk-Roasted Pork
Carbonara


As a thank you for following me- I am going to give away 5 copies of my cookbook-



Secrets from My Tuscan Kitchen

Just leave me a comment below- and winners will be chosen randomly August 10th for San Lorenzo's feast day. I will be in USA and mail books from there.


Grazie Mille!










Next year I am working on Whole Hog Workshops here in Tuscany for butchers and butcher wanna-be's! A week with the artisan butchers learning side-by-side.


53 comments:

  1. I first had porchetta almost 20 years ago. We were driving around somewhere in Tuscany (can't remember where now!) and saw one of those trucks with a whole pig. Stopped to get a sandwich. What a revelation! Have you ever had the porchetta sandwich from the Roli Roti truck in San Francisco? It's really, really, good.

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  2. @Kristina will check it out as I am on my way to SF now!

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  3. Grazie mille for all your wonderful posts and recipes. Congrats on 500!

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  4. I love porchetta, although I had no idea there were so many versions, and I'd love a copy of your book!

    Abra

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  5. Ellen Kozak5:02 PM

    Wow! 500 posts, and every one of them delicious! Auguri!
    Will you be doing any programs while in San Francisco?

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  6. I couldn't resist when I read you in my google reader. I would so very much love a copy of your book :-) Meanwhile, I'm glad I found you out here in the world.

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  7. Gina Schmitz6:39 PM

    Congrats on 500 posts! I love your recipes & would love a copy of your book! :) Thank you for the chance!

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  8. Johanna6:42 PM

    Congrats on your 500 posts. All of them have been interesting. I can vouch for the Roli Roti porchetta sandwich. Delicious!

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  9. I LOVE your website and would also love a copy of your cookbook! Congrats on your 500 posts!

    Grazie Molto!

    lisaarant at aol dot com

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  10. Zahra7:04 PM

    Porchetta is divine whether in Italy or New York. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Congratulations on 500! I love your blog and would love a copy of your book. Great post about Porchetta.

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  12. Congrats on hitting the BIG 500!!! I live vicariously thru about twice a week. Love your blog and also would love a copy of your book.

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  13. I love getting your blog in my mailbox; your pictures are wonderful. I feel like I am there with you! Grazie mille!

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  14. O' Judy it's like you were reading my mind. My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in the fall and do a Porchetta class... I fantasize about the Porchetta sandwiches that I enjoyed on market days in tuscany when I studied art there 30 years ago. I've tried to describe them to my husband and cannot wait to share the experience with him. Your descriptions make me trust that the market porchetta's are still the transcendent experience they were 30 years ago. Thank you for posting a recipe that could be accomplished at home, I cannot wait to try it. Thank you for transporting me back to italy with your blog.

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  15. Cathy C3:32 AM

    Judy, I love your blog, the pictures are great also. I'd be thrilled if I won your cookbook! I've been using Tuscan Herb mixture since I saw the recipe on your blog, there is always a jar of it on my counter -- it's delicious on roasted potatoes too! I dream of the day I can make a return trip to Italy.... in the meantime, I cook... and make Limoncello ;)

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  16. Francie5:05 AM

    Thanks for this very special blog. You really bring Italy and Sicily alive for the foodies,Thanks so much

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  17. Hi,

    everytime I get your email I feel like cooking. You inspire me. Thank you.

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  18. Karen6:36 AM

    It's fabulous following you on your culinary adventures. As a huge lover of all things Tuscany, I applaud you! I look forward to reading your posts between carpools, piano practices and soccer games. They transport me briefly back to a place I love. We have mutual friends in Cortona.. I have your cookbook but would love a copy for my grandmother in Rossmoor. Karen F.

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  19. I so enjoy receiving your posts, and would love a copy of your book!
    I've lived in Florence in the past, and miss it often. You really help to create a bridge between here (British Columbia) and there for me. I hope to cross paths with you one day. Cheers, Amy

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  20. Happy 500! Will try your porchetta. In the Philippines, we celebrate our fiestas with whole roast pigs - your post and photos made me homesick! ahhhh Thanks for sharing.

    Congrats, Valérie

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  21. Judy, I've been enjoying your blog forever, it seems. :) I love love love your herb blend - every fall, there I am with the mezzaluna, chopping sage and rosemary, while my husband minces fresh garlic. . . I can't imagine being without it! :)

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  22. I love your blog! I feel like I am in Italy with you.

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  23. so nice to see that people are reading the blog!!! thanks everyone--
    it means a lot to me!

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  24. Porchetta and your blog are delicious! Congratulations on 500! Erica

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  25. You're killing me with all the pork photos-I LOVE pork and wish there was a porchetta truck pulling up at my weekly farmers' market! On my last visit to Italy a porchetta panino was the very first thing I ate upon my arrival!

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  26. I just found your blog and I am thrilled!! I can't wait to read all your posts, I feel like I am with you! My husband also makes porchetta, we make our own wine, lonza, prochuitto, sausage. Thanks for a wonderful visit!!

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  27. I was just steered to your blog by a friend. Wonderful! Good thing I have the day off- now to dig in to the back posts.

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  28. Keep up the good work, humor, and cooking!

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  29. DROOLING! Love porchetta! Love your blog! Off to get the ingredients for the Tuscan Herb Mix!

    Happy 500!
    (fromthebookshelf.nyc@gmail.com - just in case)

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  30. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Love your blog! Thanks for the great pics, now need porchetta! Would love your book!

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  31. Ciao Bella! Auguri! 500 posts is a grand accomplishment!
    Here's something intriguing to me, in Umbria, the porchetta is primarily stuffed with fennel stalks, and hardly ever with sage. Yes, lots of garlic & salt, but fennel is the primary seasoning. Another Tuscany v. Umbria debate? How delicious!

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  32. Wow...500!!! Amazing!...but then so are you!
    I feel so fortunate to have seen Italy through your eyes...Thank you so much for that...

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  33. @judithKlinger- yes I have done my porchetta research down to rome too- also love the coniglio porchettata with the fennel stalks-- which I have had in gubbio

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  34. @anonymous-- if you leave your name there is a change you will win--

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  35. It's been a few years now (since the 1990's when Michael and I had our first class with you) that I've been making the erbe. Every summer, over 12 years, I make a lot of it, many batches, enough for our long fall, winter and spring, plus gifts when we go to friends for dinner. Erbe Toscana -- Judy's elixer of life!! Thank you once again for changing our lives forever!

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  36. Giselle1:16 PM

    Love Porchetta! It's the local fast food and completely addictive! I sometimes buy it as it is to have with a salad without the bread - any way it's served up is a winner for me!! I have attempted to make it myself, but the vans have it down pat, and I don't bother 'competing' with them anymore!!
    Enjoy SF despite what you have to do there. Make time for some fun!

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  37. Ciao, carissima. And congratulations on your 500th posta! Another winner! I am lucky enough to have your book already so don't put my name in the drawing, but have a safe, smooth trip home and in bocca al lupo for all you will be doing there. Thinking of you and hoping to see you back in Florence in September.

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  38. Fascinating post as always Judy and a big congratualtions on you 500th! Have a good trip and see you in Dario's one day!

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  39. You should get yourself a Cinquecento to drive, in honor of your 500th! Grazie mille for your work!

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  40. Love your blog and eagerly await your tweets...would love to win your cookbook!

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  41. Just discovered you blog and LOVE it! Can't wait to try some of your recipes and the herb mix for the porchetta! We have had the pleasure of spending time in Tuscany and stay in a small hamlet outside of Siena. Look forward to following your blog from now on and using your suggestions for places to go in the towns we visit. Have visited Dario Cecchini's place in Panzano and for meat lovers his dinners are unbelievable and great fun. Thanks!

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  42. Kristin1:31 PM

    Congratulations on the 500 posts, and thanks for sharing with us --- I'm hungry just looking at the pictures.

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  43. I'm not Italian but think I must have been in a previous life ... I'm always looking for new and interesting Italian recipes and came across your blog. I think it's just wonderful. And congratulations on your 500th! I'll be back often to see what's new.

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  44. What a fun post to celebrate your 500th! Congrats!! The patron saint for the town of Scala on the Amalfi Coast is San Lorenzo, but the best porchetta I've had in Italy so far is made for the Chestnut festival in Scala in the autumn. Sooooooo good!!

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  45. @laura if you get an image from the festival in SCALA I collect San Lorenzo's!
    thanks

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  46. This makes me so hungry. Wish I weren't traveling!

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  47. I found your blog today while looking for a cooking class in Florence. We will be there in September - will you be back by then? Your classes look like so much fun!

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  48. Thanks so much for sharing these recipes! Looks delicious and the photos are great!
    Just found your blog today as well and am loving it!

    The Wanderfull Traveler

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  49. Steve M12:35 AM

    Great blog! Keep up the good work and eating!

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  50. Ohhhh my....just reading this and looking at the photos has left my mouth watering!! Love-love-love the recipes you post - it has truly inspired my creativity in the kitchen. Congrats, Judy, and a big ol' thanks from a Texas gal who adores all things Italian!!

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  51. Love your recipes! Great blog!

    San Diego Catering

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  52. Norcia is one of Italy’s most important black truffle markets. I'm very excited to know this truffle tour and hope that it will offer food lovers a unique experience and give them the chance to find out more about one of Umbria’s most important and precious ingredients, thank you so much

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  53. Thanks for taking the time to share this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

    Cheap Flights to Mumbai

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