Lechon is a Filipino delicacy and a fixture in all major celebrations. The succulent taste of lechon has given it the moniker, the “provocative” roast pig. Its luscious flavor, spiced up by a variety of seasoning and stuffing, has made lechon a mouthwatering crowd favorite among Filipino celebrations at home or across the miles.
The pig roasting tradition has been around in the Philippines since the Spanish Colonial Period. Lechon is Spanish for “Suckling Pig” and a derivative from “leche,” which means milk. Its translation in the main Filipino language, Tagalog, is “litson.”
Every year, in a little town called “Balayan” on the outskirts of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, lechons are paraded in full dressing. It is a symbolic offering to commemorate the feast day of St. John, the Baptist, which falls on the 24th of June.
The popularity of roast pig or lechon among Filipinos is transparent in so many different ways. For one, when you take a look at the number of searches done in the US alone, you would find that “lechon” averages around 30k-40k per month. Its global search even far exceeds pig roast and roast pig, an indication that Filipinos around the world have been craving for this much coveted event favorite.
Pig roasting in the Philippines is no different than pig roasting across the globe. Like in most cultures including Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and other Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, pig roasting is done on a pig roast spit. The pig roast spit varies in design and style.
In the Philippines, the pig roast spit is constructed with the crudest form of pig roasting tools including charcoal and bamboo sticks to hold the roast pig. Although these pig roasting tools seem to be quite basic, it produces a savory lechon, bursting with flavor drawn from the spices basted on the roast pig.
Apart from the crispy and crackling lechon skin, the best part is the leftovers. There is nothing wasted. Everything can be recycled to create derivatives of the lechon such as “lechon kawali” or fried roast pig and “paksiw na lechon” or vinegar-based stewed roast pig.
The word “lechon” has been transformed to encompass everything and anything that is roasted on a pit including “lechon manok” or roasted chicken and “lechon baka” or roast beef.
So the next time you think of roast pig, think of us here at DD Pig Roast and we will make your next “lechon” a pig roasting marvel!