Castel Gandolfo Is Noted For Its Porchetta:
Castel Gandolfo is a town that is best known as the summer residence of Popes, but another thing that this town is noted for is its porchetta. Even before we reached Piazza della Libertà, the main square of the historical centre, we saw a street stall selling porchetta panini and tourists sitting near the car-park were enjoying their porchetta sandwich.
It was lunchtime when we arrived at Castel Gandolfo and so we made a beeline for Corso della Repubblica, the main street of the historical centre. There are several eateries here, but Hosteria la Fraschetta was recommended as having the best porchetta. Although we do not eat meat, it’s always interesting to check out the specialities of the region and especially if a particular dish is recommended.
Hosteria La Fraschetta – Cose Buone
The outdoor tables were quite full and so we went inside La Fraschetta to take a look. The sign on the doorway says Cose Buone so we’re a bit confused as to the link between the two names. The tables inside were just as full, but the service at La Fraschetta is pretty swift. Plates of porchetta, lamb chops, salumi and other dishes were flying out of the kitchen at a speed of knots.
If you don’t have time for a sit-down meal, you can order a takeaway porchetta panini which our friends did. We asked Laurens, the meat-eater, what he thought of the porchetta and with a satisfied look and grin on his face he confirmed that it was excellent. For non-meat eaters, the hosteria does have vegetarian dishes.
Whether Hosteria La Fraschetta’s porchetta is the best in Castel Gandolfo, we are not qualified to say, but from the popularity of this place, it seems that this is one of the favoured porchetta joints in town. They serve no-frills traditional food at reasonable prices and meat-lovers especially will love this place.
Porchetta is roast boneless pork and it is classified as a “prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale”, a traditional Italian dish that is of cultural relevance. Porchetta originated in central Italy and is one of the two iconic products of the Lazio region (the other being pecorino cheese). I am intrigued though as to why the papal town of Castel Gandolfo should be famous for its porchetta when Lake Albano has plenty of fish. Did the pilgrims introduce it here or was it a favourite dish of one of the popes?