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Lechón (Suckling pig)

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Lechón is a pork dish in several regions of the world, most specifically Spain and its former colonial possessions throughout the world. The word lechón originated from the Spanish term leche (milk); thus lechón refers to a suckling pig that is roasted.

Left: Lechón kawali involves boiling the processed meat, and then frying the pieces of pork in a frying pan.

Lechón is a popular cuisine in Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, other Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America, and the Philippines. The dish features a whole roasted pig cooked over charcoal. In most regions, lechón is prepared throughout the year for any special occasion, during festivals, and the holidays.

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After seasoning, the pig is cooked by skewering the entire animal, entrails removed, on a large stick and cooking it in a pit filled with charcoal. The pig is placed over the charcoal, and the stick or rod it is attached to is turned in a rotisserie action.

Left: Lechón being roasted in Cadiz City, Philippines.

In the Philippines, lechón is often served with vinegar, lechon sauce (made out of chicken livers or liver pate combined with vinegar, garlic, and pepper), plum sauce, or other sauces, or with other seasonings or accompaniments.

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Another variation, known as Pritchon, consists of a deep-fried piglet chopped into small pieces and wrapped in pita wedges (à la Peking Duck), and served with an array of special sauces.

Left: Philippines fishermen cooking a suckling pig over the fire.

 

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