The Porchetta Sandwich We Counted Coins For
Porchétta is roasted pork with crispy skin, highly seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices, garlic, sage, rosemary and wild fennel pollen. This is a traditional street food of Central Italy – it is basically slow cooked Italian fast food. Sold from a cart or a truck, it is a whole roast pig boned out and stuffed with the liver, heart and other entrails mixed with savory herbs then slow roasted in a wood oven. It is sliced to order and served in a sandwich as a quick treat at the market or at a fair. As soon as we arrived in San Gimignano, and saw people eating these… we had to get in line. We also wanted a porchetta sanwich!
Actually, it was the line of people that we saw that started the intrigue! People were cueing up for these, and we wanted to jump in on the action. Justin had forgotten his wallet in the car, so we had very little cash on us. [This town is small and there was a festival happening, so we had to park miles away and walk to the center.]
Even before finding the food truck that was serving these Porchetta sandwiches, we saw multiple stores with pigs meat on display. It was clear that pork, specifically roasted pork, was a pretty big deal around here!
We got in line and waited our turn to order. Buying this sandwich made us feel like little kids in tuck shop line (haha, that’s a South African reference – a tuck shop is a small store within your school which sells snacks and other lunch options). We had counted all the coins in our pockets, and we were very pleased to be able to buy a sandwich to share between the three of us!
The man and woman, presumably a couple, behind the counter were working away. He was cutting the pork into perfect slices, and then laying them onto fresh bread. She was taking orders and collecting money. While Justin waited in line with Eli, I walked around the side of the truck to look at what was inside this pig! I had no idea then that the stuffing was made up of liver, heart and other entrails mixed with savory herbs. To me it just looked like a delicious stuffing… AND IT WAS! When the meat was put onto the bread, there was barely any stuffing on the sandwich.
We waited patiently for our porchetta sandwich.
And then we all dug in…
Are those not the faces of very happy customers?! This sandwich was TO DIE FOR! We contemplated running back to the car to get more money, but since San Gimignano was merely a pit stop along our journey from Florence to Rome, we didn’t have enough time. We savored every last bit of that porchetta sandwich. The fresh bread – with it’s perfectly crispy crust. The pork – soft, succulent, flavorful and divine! Hmmmmm… Now that’s perfect street food.
Oh Italy, you sure do know how to make good food!