Monday, April 20, 2009

Lechon

Fiestas, weddings, birthdays and other joyful occasions are the perfect excuse to have a feast. But a feast is incomplete without the star – lechon. The lechon is the centerpiece of the feast. All the other viands, desserts and drinks are laid out and placed around it. The lechon enjoys the highest honor in the hierarchy of fiesta food, towering over lesser viands.

Traditionally, when you say lechon you mean roasted pig. Nowadays they also cook lechon manok and lechon baka. But the lechon baboy with its crispy skin and soft meat inside is incomparable. Legend states that the lechon was accidentally discovered one afternoon when a Chinese person who had pigs living at the base of his house left the gas lamp on. It broke, spread fire to the house and the pigs got roasted. The Chinese person, upon seeing his house burnt to the ground began to wail in despair – until he caught a whiff of a delicious aroma. When he went to check it out, he discovered that his pigs got roasted in the fire, tasted the crispy skin and got hooked (so did his neighbors) and there were a lot of burned houses that year.

Seriously, the lechon originated from China. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao all have the best-tasting lechon. Which one is really the best is up to you to decide.

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