We went to our first food festival the other night - and perfectly, it was a pig fest! We were invited to the feste by our friend Giulia to celebrate the slaughter of a piglet in the town of Barchi near the Adriatic coast. There were over 150 guests all there to literally pig out!
We feasted on sausages, bistecca di maiale (pork chops), grilled polenta, soup with beans & pig skin (the white beans were great but we picked round the skin), coppa di testa (you boil the whole pig's head and you put in all the meat-there's a lot, the ears, tongue & skin. Season it with salt, pepper and in other parts of Le Marche lots of spices, citrus peel, almonds or pistachio.) Thanks to Giulia for explaining this in detail, we first thought it was just the brain, oh nooo-so much more!! Coppa di testa was not fav at our table, grilled pig heart, liver with bay leaves and tons of torts! Needless to say we were stuffed by the end of the night! We dined inside with everyone & then headed out back to meet the chef & various other cooks and to share wine & stories of the honored maialino. And how many pigs were used for 150 guests with tons & tons of extra sausages leftover?? Uno!
Speaking of pigs - we were given a gift from Fusciani - pig cheek guancica del maiale! It may sound weird but is incredibly delicious and delicate!! The pig cheeks are cured like prosciutto and then thinly sliced and sauteed in olive oil, a clove of garlic & sage leaves! The cheek is huge (check out the pic below-that's it!) and hanging in our piccolo cantina!! We can’t wait to start slicing into ours.