DiNic's Goes Whole Hog
Well, acually a piglet, a 30-pounder to be precise.
Undoubtedly influenced by the popularity of the roast pig from Canulli's he helped carve for the Reading Terminal Market's Italian Festival, Tom Nicolosi, the roast pork mecca's proprietor, will be roasting a whole pig later this week. If all goes well, you can taste it Friday or Saturday.
But it won't be a special item on the menu. As son Joe Nicolosi explains, they'll be using the pig for their regular pulled pork sandwiches.
Cooking time, however, will be considerably longer than the normal seven or eight hours for the butts that make up the standard pulled pork. That's because in addition to the whole pig, it will be stuffed with butts. Cooking time will likely be upwards of 15 hours for the pig and and butts. The pig is being supplied by RTM butcher Charles Giunta who will be giving the Nicolosi's boning instructions as well.
This won't be the first experiment for Tommy Nicolosi. Last year he tried roasting butts with the skin on to provide some extra crunch, but he wasn't pleased with the results. Other experiments have fared considerably better, such as shen he added brisket and the Italian-style pulled pork to the menu a few years ago. If the whole roast pig works out in terms of taste, customer acceptance and economics, expect it to be a regular part of the menu.
Tommy doesn't limit his experimenting to his center court store. Earlier this spring for his South Jersey backyard he purchased a Big Green Egg cooker. He's quite happy the results, even going so far as to cook Sunday gravy (that's Italian red meat sauce) in it. The ability to control temperature is outstanding for a charcoal-fueled grill, he said.