Times magazine declared lechon from the Philippines the “Best Pig” on their “Best of Asia 2009” list. Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations hailed lechon from Cebu, Philippines the “best pig ever.” FoodMeOmaha visited Cebu and discovered the exquisite glory of lechon.
A whole pig is slowly roasted for several hours until the skin is crispy and the flesh tender. Times magazine’s “Best of Asia 2009” article eloquently describes the glory of lechon:
“A pig is roasted for hours over a fire of open coals, slowly rotated on a bamboo spit, lovingly basted and meticulously supervised until its flesh is so tender, moist and succulent that it can be sliced with the edge of a plate, and its skin so crisp it can be punctured with the tap of a finger. You could call it the Platonic ideal of a pig, but it’s doubtful if Plato, or even an entire faculty of philosophers, could have imagined anything so exquisite.”
Lechon is often cooked for national festivities, holidays, and other special occasions such as birthdays, baptisms, weddings, and family reunions. Maude, Filipino foodie friend, explained that if a party does not have lechon, then it’s considered lame in the Philippines. I can understand why. Lechon is a divinely delicious main attraction and a way of celebration. If you come to the Philippines, this is a must-have.
I had the privilege and joy to be a part of the Aller’s Christmas Eve and the Taylor’s Christmas celebration at their homes in the Philippines. I was welcomed with wonderful laughter, joy, and food to remember thanks to Filipino friends, Maude and Joen, and their gracious families. The family events were the opposite of lame and included lechon!
Spicy Lechon (Roasted Suckling Pig):
Lechon (Adult Pig):
I absolutely adore the crispy skin and the savory tender and moist meat. The spicy lechon piglet had a nice kick and was more tender than the adult lechon. The adult lechon had the edge on the crispier, delectable skin. Both versions are relished with every bite. Oh my, lechon is glorious.
Special thanks to Tito Rene Aller, Ate Chime Aller, Kuya Rex Aller, Meagan, Aria, Tita Norma Moreno, Tito Moreno, Kuya JJ, Ate Joyce, Tita Evelyn Taylor, and Uncle Jim Taylor for their gracious hospitality and the glorious lechon!