Wake Up, Philippines!

Lechon: Asia’s best pig ever

Posted in Food/Drinks, News Feature by Erineus on April 28, 2009

Updated April 29, 2009 12:00 AM

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MANILA, Philippines – Despite the bad reputation pigs are getting these days due to the swine flu virus, a pig in the Philippines has made it to Time magazine’s Best of Asia list as “Best Pig.”

Time magazine, in its recent issue, hailed the Filipinos’ favorite roasted suckling pig or lechon as the “Best Pig” in Asia.

In an article written by Lara Day entitled “Pork Art,” she said it was the review of TV chef Anthony Bourdain, “whose love of all things porcine is famous,” of the lechon that helped it gain international limelight.

Bourdain, with his show No Reservations, visited Cebu and declared that he had found the “best pig ever.”

In his blog, Bourdain said that of all the pigs he tasted all over the world, “the slow roasted lechon he had on Cebu was the best.”

In the article, Time wrote on how the lechon is prepared and how it has become the country’s most beloved dish and a source of fanatical adulation.

Though varieties differ regionally – stuffing can include any combination of lemongrass, tamarind, star anise, garlic, green onions and chili leaves, while condiments range from a light vinegary dipping sauce to a thick liver-based gravy – the basic concept remains the same. 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,” Time said.

Even Time couldn’t help but gush on the lechon.

“It was just a matter of time before the world found out. You could call it the Platonic idea of a pig, but it’s doubtful if Plato, or even an entire faculty of philosophers, could have imagined anything so exquisite,” Time wrote in its glowing review.


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