Man Food: The Porchetta-Stuffed Ariccia Sandwich at Savenor's

Stuffed with melt-in-your-mouth pork and delicate pickled fennel, this sandwich is a winner.

All photos by Katie Barszcz.

Taking a trip to Savenor’s is an experience unlike any other butcher and market. The cramped space is decked out with international condiments, beautiful fruits and vegetables, pints of freshly rendered duck fat and some interesting meats you won’t find anywhere else. But aside from the rattlesnake, bear and ostrich, there’s a charm to it all; and if it was good enough for Julia Child, it’s good enough for me. Recently, the shops (both the Cambridge and Beacon Hill locations) ditched the fish counter and started serving sandwiches daily, (available until 6 p.m.) a move that I certainly can approve of, and I headed to the Cambridge location to give them a shot.

While there are a few meat-on-bread selections to choose from, the Ariccia ($8.99), featuring house-made porchetta, pickled fennel, and a drizzle of local honey on a fresh Iggy’s roll, caught my eye immediately. It’s made to order and it’s worth the wait—giving you just enough time to figure out what you’re going to do with three pounds of elk meat for dinner.

The sandwiches are meant to be eaten to-go unless you can snag one of the two tables outside, which is ideal on a warm summer day. When you unwrap the black and white butcher’s paper it’s like opening a present. The garlic and rosemary-perfumed pork shoulder is decadent and fatty, thanks to an outer layer of Pork Belly. It’s pork-on-pork action at its finest, and the paper-thin slices of meat melt in your mouth in a luxurious way. The real surprise comes from the pickled fennel and the honey. The usual sharpness of fennel is mellowed by the pickling application, and the honey only adds a delicate sweet note. The sandwich yields a perfect balance of fattiness and sweetness; the only thing missing might be a little texture (something crunchy, perhaps?) and some heat. But it’s hardly lacking any flavor, and the fresh and soft roll is the ideal foil to soak up any lingering pork juices, which are plentiful.

It would have been easy to fill the sandwich with too many toppings and condiments, weighing it down in more ways than one. But it’s wisely modest with ingredients that are prepared by experts—a simple sandwich with a couple of unique twists.

Savenore Cambridge, 92 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, 617-576-6328,

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