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20 Interesting Lechón Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
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20 Interesting Lechón Facts

You must have noticed that we have been writing about weird food items. But trust us, when you taste them, you would curse yourself for not having tasted them before. Here is yet another one such food named Lechón. With every single bite you will keep wondering why at all you eat anything else! We prefer calling it sheer culinary delight. Unfortunately, this is not for veggies who think killing animals is sin. With all due respect to their religious views, the only argument we are going to put forward is – ‘if killing animals is a sin, Mother Nature is the worst killer ever to exist and is responsible for genocide after genocide’. Why so? Extinction is the answer to this ‘why’. Anyway, putting arguments aside, let us learn 20 interesting Lechón facts.

20 Interesting Lechón Facts

1. Lechón is a pork dish and is a national dish of Philippines and Puerto Rico.

2. This dish is extremely popular in various countries like Dominican Republic, Canada, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Philippines, Spain and various other Spanish-speaking Latin American nations.

3. Lechón is actually a Spanish word which means roasted suckling pig.

4. This dish is prepared by roasting a whole suckling pig over charcoal.

5. Cebu in Philippines is source for best quality suckling pigs in entire world. Cebu is an island province located in Philippines. It is one of the most developed provinces in Philippines.

6. In many Latin American countries, the immense popularity of the dish has use of medium-sized adult pigs instead of suckling pigs.

7. Lechón preparation takes nearly 8 hours.

8. Lechón has a unique preparation process. The suckling pig is first killed and then its belly is slit lengthwise from hind legs to front legs. Ears, tail and feet are all left intact.

9. Hair from the pig’s body is carefully shaved off. It is usually done by the butcher but some hair may still stay on the body. It is essential to carefully inspect the pig and remove any remaining hair before seasoning it.

10. Once the raw pig is thoroughly cleaned and washed, it is seasoned with crushed garlic, dried oregano, black pepper, salt and achiote oil. The amount of seasoning to be used usually depends on the size of the pig and it should be seasoned both inside and outside. For a 100 lb. pig, the seasoning should be used in following ratio:

  • Achiote oil – 7 cups.
  • Salt – ¾ cup.
  • Black pepper – 1 cup.
  • Dried oregano – 1 cup.
  • Crushed garlic – 2 cups.

11. After thorough seasoning, the pig is refrigerated in a large tub with ice.

12. The pig is then skewered and attached to a metal rod and is placed in a large pit full of charcoal. It is very essential to use charcoal that does not have lighter fluid added to it.

13. The rod to which the pig is attached is then turned over the burning charcoal in rotisserie action. This allows even roasting.

14. This particular cooking method makes the skin of the pig very crisp which is known for its distinctive taste.

15. Charcoal roasting gives Lechón a distinctive smoky flavor.

16. The pig is roasted for around 8 hours. Once roasting is completed, the pig is allowed to sit for 20-30 minutes before cutting it. This allows the juices to sink inside, making the meat moist and soft. This is known as basting.

17. As far as nutrition is concerned, 100 grams of Lechón consists of 6 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 5 g saturated fat and the total cholesterol content in 100 grams of Lechón is 95 mg.

18. 100 g of the dish contains a total of 62 mg sodium, 423 mg potassium and 27 g protein.

19. Vitamin C content is 1%, iron content is 7% and calcium content is 2% in every 100 g of Lechón.

20. The total number of calories present in 100 g or 1 serving of Lechón is 242.

Sounds yummy right? If you ever get a chance to taste this amazing dish, don’t let it go. Your taste buds will carry the taste of Lechón for a long long time!

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Image Credits: 1, 2

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