Pork is the perfect culinary palette and cuisines the world over have reached their pinnacle on the back of a pig. Bacon mania, the rise of charcuterie and the pork belly invasion are all testament to the versatility and infinite umami of pork. And now one of the Italians’ greatest pork inventions, porchetta, is raising its snout on menus.
Designated a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale by Italy’s Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry, porchetta is basically boneless pork meat layered with fat and skin, rolled around herbs and slowly roasted. That’s a rudimentary description—this is one of those dishes that changes in every chef’s hands.
Salt Lake’s meat-meister, Frody Volgger, makes a version from the heritage pigs he gets from Christiansen’s Family Farms. You can order it ahead or sometimes find it in the case at his butcher shop, Salt & Smoke (155 W. Malvern Ave., South Salt Lake, 801-680-8529.) Salt Lake salumeria Creminelli’s also makes one, available online (creminelli.com).
Porchetta is a great transition-season meat—comfort food of the highest order when it’s warm and fresh-roasted, served with rosemary potatoes, and just as good cold, so perfect for early spring picnic sandwiches. Settebello Pizzeria’s sister sandwich shop, Bocata, deep underground in the food court at City Creek (28 S. State, SLC, 801-355-3538) serves an undeservedly little-known porchetta sandwich with green garlic sauce and Flatbread Pizzeria (1044 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-467-2180) stacks Creminelli’s “mother of all pork roasts” with fontina cheese, balsamic-marinated cippolinis and chutney on an asiago bun.