Posted 02 January 2011   Pig Roast History

Lechon Roasts in Puerto Rico

According to the Dictionary of the Spanish Academy, the word lechón refers to a suckling pig. In Puerto Rico and in many Spanish-speaking countries in the New World, the word lechón brings up visions of old-time holiday feasts when whole pigs were roasted over a charcoal fire.  At its best the taste is a combination of slightly smoked, juicy pork and crunchy toasted skin (cuerito) with a bracing complement of garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and often achiote (annatto) oil. Some lechoneras have their own secretly guarded seasoning recipe, but usually garlic, oregano, and salt are at the heart of it. Lechón is often available as a typical Puerto Rican dish at special events at island resorts and hotels and as a seasonal item on the menus of fine restaurants,

In Puerto Rico families often take trips to Guavate in the mountain town of Cayey south of San Jaun following the road La Ruta del Lechón for a dish of roast pork and rice and beans. It’s not clear how Road 184—especially around kilometer 27—became known as the “The Route of the lechón,” but ask just about any island resident and they will extol the virtues of their favorite lechonera there.

Lechoneras are restaurants that specialize in serving portions of pork roasted on a spit and they are not limited, of course, to the scenic Guavate area. You can find them all over the island of Puerto Rico and, in similar manifestations, in the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and other places.

Note: As much as we would like to cook in the old traditional ways we do not. Our Double D method, described under Frequently Asked Questions, has been finely tuned over many years to produce the best flavor while cooked at your site..

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