In France, 40% of songs played by radio stations must be French. It’s a means to protect cultural patrimony. As far as I am aware, the Italians have no such scheme in place but when you go to Italy, all you hear is Italian music. Italian music trumps French music if you ask me. But then, an Italian could read the ingredients off a packet of cereal and I would listen rapturously. There is a certain Italian pop-rock that has prevailed for over two decades, or so it sounds to my untrained ear, sung by a smoker, with a gritty deep voice, maybe in tight black jeans with Dr. Martin shoes, a thin frame and lots of blocky black tattoos. Vintage t-shirt, they have to be wearing a vintage t-shirt.
That’s what’s playing when I walk into Santo Porcello an Italian Bodega that serves paninis and tigella. There is a young woman server with jet black hair, a hue only Indians and Italians seem to have, she is from Napoli. She has the blocky tattoos and large black framed glasses.
While I decide what I should order, another man is serving customers Italian salumeria. Culaccia (42/kg), Panceta Arrotolata (35/kg), Bresaola (40/kg), Coppa (24/kg). I spot Mortadella – that’s what I want in my panini. Mortadella, scarmoza (smoked cheese) and pistachio. The mortadella has been sliced paper-thin and there are pockets of air adding another dimension.
It comes on pillowy bread with a crispy thin crust that shatters obligingly. I discover later that it is baked by Yellow Bakery. Napoli comes over and tries to explain to me how to use the flat pocket of balsamic dressing the sandwich has come with. I fold it down the middle and it cracks, letting out dribbles of good enough to drink balsamic.
They sell whole bottles of it. They also sell packages of Italian biscuits that would easily be encountered in Italian supermarkets. Biscuits that an Italian would find comforting.
In the evening Santo Porcello turns into a place to have Campari, Negroni, Lambrusco and Italian beers. The wise thing to do then would be to go for a Surtido Embutidos 16€ (meat plate), Suritdo Queso 13.5€ or talk your friends into ordering the mixed platter (20€).
Besides having high-quality meats and cheeses, Santo Porcello has heaps of character (despite being newly opened) and the music will take you back to that one time you drove in Italy and tuned in to the local radio stations.
Santo Porcello is included on the Foodie BCN App, click HERE to download.
Bodega & Panini
C/ Sepúlveda 151
08011 Sant Antoni