"Pigging Out on Sandwiches at this Saturday's La Festa Italiana," By Carolyn Wyman
“Pigging Out on Sandwiches at this Saturday’s La Festa Italiana,”
By Carolyn Wyman
This year’s edition of the Market’s Italian Festival will feature both authentic Italian foods and Italian-influenced ones. Festival-goers will be able to experience wine pours from Blue Mountain Vineyards, pizza from By George’s, sausage and peppers from Molly Malloy’s, espresso from Old City Coffee, Italian cheeses from Salumeria and roast pork sandwiches made with meat carved from the festival’s showpiece whole roasted pig.
Although some Southern transplants might associate pig roasts with their homeland, it’s a celebratory dish for families of many backgrounds, including Italian, says Kim Giunta of Martin’s Meats, which is supplying Festa Italiana’s pig.
“We had one at our engagement party. A lot of people do it for special occasions, like a big family picnic or the Fourth of July,” says Kim, wife of Martin’s owner, Martin Giunta.
The Giuntas will be getting the 130-pound animal from a Salem County, N.J., farmer, removing the bones, seasoning it with traditional Italian porchetta spices and then roasting it in a pan in an oven at their Mickleton, N.J., sausage production facility at a low approximate 150 degrees for 10 hours before transporting it to Reading Terminal for showy carving by employees from both Martin’s and Market roast pork specialist DiNic’s. Mostly they’ll be putting the meat onto rolls but pig head and feet will also be available for anyone who wants it.
Beck’s Cajun Café will be serving the Italian-influenced muffaletta, New Orleans’ signature sandwich, brought to the city by Italians from Sicily. Like the Italian hoagie, the “muff” features Italian salami, ham, and sharp provolone on Italian bread, but, as Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies and Cheesesteaks’ owner Carmen DiGuglielmo notes, “that jardinière sauce gives it a different taste that’s not Philly.”
Jardinière is a French word for pickled vegetables, and tangy olive dressing is a defining element of the muffaletta, agrees Beck’s chef-owner Bill Beck. He makes his on-site from green olives, pimento, pickled vegetables, capers, lemon zest and olive oil. Also, the muffaletta’s Italian bread is a round loaf rather than the traditional long hoagie roll, so the sandwich is served in wedges. All together, that makes the muffaletta “more exotic, substantial and filling” than a hoagie, Beck’s Cajun Café owner Bill Beck boasts.
Beck will also be making zeppoli for the festival. Beck got the job because of the similarity of those Italian dough balls to the beignets Beck makes at his Market stand twice a week.
“Many culinary traditions have some kind of fried-dough treat,” says Beck. To turn his beignets into zeppoli, Beck adds ricotta cheese to his batter. He’ll be serving them with a honey drizzle or rum dipping sauce.
La Festa Italiana, Center Court, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., April 21, free admission, pay-as-you- go eats.Posted on 04.19.12