“Oh wow, man. Look at that. I need to have some of that,” a man wailed last week at Portland’s Saturday Farmers Market at PSU, immediately holstering his umbrella and locking down his eyes, the way my dog Pearl was all zen focus during a cheeseburger sighting.
That is 35-pound mound of porchetta, and as big as a wrestler thigh, stuffed with fresh-made sausage, and pulled from a hot fire around 11 a.m. at the Tastebud booth. Within minutes, a knife big enough to frighten Jack Bauer comes out and the slicing—and sandwich-making—begins. The taste of heaven extends to the fantastic oven-fresh focaccia bread and the dueling red and green salsas that provide a little extra “hello” to the thick, juicy, fall-apart coils of roasted pork meat.
Former farmer Mark Doxtader has been hauling his homemade 4,000-pound black furnace to the Saturday and Sunday Hillsdale farmers market for years now. Devotees stand in line for whatever is crackling in his oven, including wood-oven bagels and glorious puffy-chewy triangles of flatbread carpeted with seeds.
But because he’s always shaking up the mix, the fun is finding something new, a Tastebud “Limited Edition” treat. Right now, it’s these $7 porchetta sandwiches, made with locally raised Tails & Trotter pork and available through December 18, when market goes into hiatus until spring.
The sandwiches won’t be found this winter at Tastebud restaurant on SE Milwaukie Ave, home base for Doxtader’s wood-fired pizzas, but the flame master is already day-dreaming about building a new wood-fired oven for next year’s market—this one just for porchetta.