Porchetta of Poggio Bustone
and the Holy Valley
One of the most iconic products of this land’s culinary tradition is the ‘porchetta’, a savoury meat dish from Central Italy made of pork and aromatic plants. The porchetta cooked in Morro Reatino, Poggio Bustone and Cantalice is included in the ‘Porchetta di Poggio Bustone’ consortium.
The porchetta’s recipe includes a bled-out, deboned pig, later salted and stuffed with garlic, pepper, chili pepper and either rosemary or fennel, depending on whether you are in Rome’s province or in Umbria; in Rieti they usually employ rosemary. The pig is then tied up with a string, spitted and roasted for a few hours, depending on the size of the animal.
The origins of this recipe, passed down from generation to generation, have been lost in the mists of time. Some date it back to the Romans, others to the Etruscans, but the Picentine necropolis in Campovalano proves that porchetta was being produced as early as the 1st millennium BC.
According to the locals, instead, a butcher from Poggio Bustone named Moretto went to the East many, many years ago. Once there, he saw a shack full of pigs catch fire and, thanks to the herbs on the ground, the meat started spreading a delicious smell. This way, Moretto discovered the recipe of porchetta.
Porchetta is a kind of street food always consumed during local festivals, usually sliced and sold inside sandwiches by street sellers. Do not miss the chance to taste it on 17th January in Morro Reatino during St. Anthony’s Day, or in October during the Porchetta Festival in Poggio Bustone.