Romans like them young, and they like them tender. Inveterate meat-eaters, Romans have a particular fondness for porchetta, that’s “little piggy” to you. Weighing no more than about 20 pounds, these baby pigs (I know – I don’t like to think about it either) are de-boned, rolled, and then oven or spit-roasted over beechwood and seasoned with fennel or rosemary, garlic, salt, and lots of black pepper.
This was my dinner at L’Osteria de Memmo (Via dei Soldati, 22) in Rome, but you might want to head for the hills, to Ariccia (the town in the Castelli Romani just 15 miles from the Eternal City), famous all over Italy for its porchetta. Roadside stands dot the streets all around this town, where you can order up a few slices on a piece of paper to whet your appetite or perhaps a lunch of a porchetta sandwich – a pig in the blanket, Italian style.