Tasty Travels: Lechon, Philippines

Meat-lovers can’t get enough of pork. Bacon, ham, tonkatsu, and more, there are so many varieties of pig-based meat dishes you can enjoy dining on. In the Philippines, there is one big dish often served during special occasions-- Lechon.
At a glance, it's easy to identify what lechon is: a whole pig roasted over a heat source. The skin becomes deliciously crunchy and juicy while the meat underneath becomes soft and savory. The pig selected for roast are suckling pigs and it usually takes around 8 hours to thoroughly cook the entire thing over a viable heat source. From legs to ears and even the tail, all parts are left intact while the meat is being cooked.
The process starts when a pig is selected then executed. Its innards are extracted and the body is watched and then shaved thoroughly. The skin is often seasoned with salt and pepper, before the entire thing is suspended from a bamboo pole and slowly cooked. The insides are often stuffed with a variety of things that compliment the meal, from lemongrass to give the inner meat its zesty flavoring to garlic, green onion, etc. For fiesta buffets and birthdays, it’s always a welcome sight to see a delicious brown-looking roast just ready to be picked apart by a hungry crowd.