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Porchetta (roast pig)

Fedele Romani from Teramo, describing his Colledara, with the "sincere regret of a life's primitive taste", remembers the meals used in the area at the end of the last century.

"The meal ordinarily, was not, so to say, simple, but made by two lunches united together. The first lunch started with the thin soup, then boiled meat, roast chicken etc; the second meal started with the macaroni, then followed the stew, the milk fry and all those dishes that the imagination of the cook and the pocket of the owner knew and were able to put together; the series of dishes closed with the roast pig. Fruit and the dessert completed the meal".

The roast pig was a nursing piglet roasted in the oven; they used to bring on the table the whole pig with an orange or an apple in its mouth, welcomed by vigorous and long clapping of the euphoric table-companions.

"The roast pig is a classical preparation of all feasts, of all fairs, of all typical banquets of Abruzzo. In this dish the most varied tastes are alternated, joined together and melted: the rough and crisp crust; the rosy, soft and perfumed meat; the savory fat that picks up all spices and aromas; a mixture of odors and tastes, produced by the wedding of the pork meat with the perfumed herbs of our mountains, and contained within the fragrant urn of the pork's skin, to which the heat of the oven gave the consistence of a natural packing that is perfectly adjusted like form to subject matter in a work of art".

The preparation requires, however, the work of an expert; and every "porchettaro" has his own dosages of spices and odors, his personal system of baking, his secrets. Always present in the the Abruzzo fairs, the roast pig is celebrated in a festival in Campli (September), however the most famous "porchettari" are from Ripa Teatina.

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