If you ask any person what the most recognizable Filipino dish is, chances are they would tell you it’s lechon.
Lechon is a whole roast pig, both a delicacy and a staple, luxurious and common. It starts with skewering the pig on a stick or pole, putting stuffing in its stomach, then roasts for hours and hours in a charcoal pit. It turns over and over until the skin is that classic crispy golden brown and the meat tender and juicy.
Roasting it is a study in patience, which only makes it more worthwhile: it is one of the Philippines’ most famous dishes, popular during special occasions, fiestas, holidays. Each Philippine province puts their own spin on preparing it, and there are versions of lechon galore, like kawali, liempo, and paksiw. Cebu is often cited as the lechon capital of the world, with chef Anthony Bourdain saying its lechon is the “best pork ever”.
Fortunately for our stomachs, Winnipeg’s robust Filipino population and growing Filipino food scene means that there’s a chance for us to get into the lechon action right here at home. Plenty of Filipino restaurants in the city showcase lechon dishes in the menus. In the northern side of the city, specialty grocery stores like Fil-Mart Corp. and Water Plant sell ready-made lechon dishes and even full roasted pigs, which deliciously liven up any party. We may not be celebrating in the Philippines, but we can still have a fiesta right here, because as all Filipinos know, when there’s lechon, there’s a good time.
Photo from https://shoppersguide.com.ph/