Arby's isn't your typical fast food chain. The company is no stranger to coming out with zany food items, including its 'liger' shake (meant to troll the unicorn frappuccino) and its venison sandwich, meant to appeal to hunters (uh, why?). And now, it's channeling its inner 15th century Umbria. Umbria, if you didn’t know, is a region in central Italy considered the birthplace of what Arby's calls "one of Italy's greatest culinary specialties": porchetta. And now, it's bringing the obscure Italian delicacy to fast food, which could either be mind-blowing or disgusting.
If you’ve never heard of porchetta, it became famous as a street food in Italy and consists of a pork loin wrapped in pork belly, getting a really nice mix of the tender meat and fat. While porchetta is about as obscure as a liger, Arby's made it its new Liger shake via the Smoked Italian Porchetta Sandwich.
Arby's is smoking a pork belly-wrapped pork loin for eight hours before slicing it and topping it with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, banana peppers, red wine vinaigrette, and garlic aioli on a toasted sub roll. While this sandwich is $5.45, patrons can spend an extra buck to get the Mount Italy Sandwich, which also has ham, salami, and pepperoni with Italian seasoning.
Done right, a porchetta sandwich sounds absolutely amazing, if we’re being honest—but will Arby’s be able to pull it off? Eight hours is a long time for something go wrong, and the whole thing could be a sushi-at-Mcdonald’s kind of nasty. However, Arby's brand executive chef Neville Craw said that the Porchetta sandwich was chosen among hundreds of potential menu items every year, according to USA Today:
"Every Porchetta is made by hand before it goes into the smoker and we are really kind of doing the same quality, same craftsmanship that you would get at a single restaurant somewhere in NYC. It's the same thing; we are just able to do it for 3,300 restaurants."