The Kroft – Porchetta Sandwich
Anaheim Packing House
440 S. Anaheim Blvd. #109 · Anaheim, CA 92805
With beef and chicken the two exceptions, Americans consume more pork than any other meat. Whether it’s the sizzling bacon for breakfast, barbecue slathered ribs for lunch, or glazed loin chops for dinner, we certainly love that other white meat. Delving deeper into the porky world, there are so many ways of preparing it – cured, roasted, fried, grilled, to name a few – that the possibilities are endless. Roasting pig is arguably one of the best methods; Italian style porchetta being one of the ultimate pork preparation techniques ever.
Porchetta is a traditional Italian pork roast, seasoned with rosemary, fennel and other herbs, and stuffed. The Kroft, with a pig blazoned on its restaurant signboard, features a mean porchetta sandwich that showcases the finer features of the meat. A heaping portion of the pork is piled atop a salsa verde spread inside a ciabatta roll. Caramelized onions and a bed of arugula finish the dish.
As it should, the porchetta sandwich is teeming with succulent pork – loin, belly, and cracklings. Pork loin here is incredibly tender and juicy. The cubed pork has intense, robust seasonings, resulting in some really bold flavors that jump out with each bite. It’s as if every nook and cranny has been tinged by all the traditional porchetta herbs and peppers. Then there is the sinful pork belly with its delightful hunks of fat that linger in your mouth and heighten the overall flavor. To round everything off, the crackling crunch comes unexpectedly at times. The tiny bits of skin are somewhat dry, but still offer desired crispness that sets off the pork roast.
An intricate sandwich demands an artisanal type of bread. With its crusty exterior and slightly chewy interior, ciabatta is an ideal choice that keeps with the Italian flair. Its mild flavor complements the filling, allowing the hog to shine and come to the forefront. Toasting definitely helps the base crisp up so as to hold the spread well.
Salsa verde layered on the base not only adds a hint of moistness, but also richness to the sandwich. Its herby mix reinforces the aromatics present in the seasoning blend while also providing some fresh zip to the sandwich.
Both the arugula and caramelized onions rescue the sandwich from falling into a salty abyss. The strong pepperiness contributed by the dandelion-shaped greens goes hand in hand with the herby sauce to cut down on the bold taste of the pork. Meanwhile, the browning process done to the bulbous vegetables releases the natural sugars, dispensing excellent sweetness to liven up the sandwich and offset the porky saltiness along with the divine meaty fatness found in the belly. However, the amount of onions is relatively scant in comparison to the porchetta.
The $10 price tag may appear too rich for a sandwich approaching eight feet long. Without a doubt, it would be easier to shell out a hard earned Alexander Hamilton if the meal came as a combo with fries and a fountain drink. But considering that this one involves lengthy oven roasting to get the best out of the pork, the porchetta sandwich is worth every penny spent.
With the arugula, green sauce and onions to go along with the pork trio, the flavor combination is quite impressive. Some bites do lean toward the salty spectrum due to aggressive seasoning, but overall the savory sandwich is downright delicious. The porchetta sandwich is truly porky heaven on Earth.