Cebu's Original Lechon Belly Park Mall
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Sun - Sat 10am - 9pm
Tradition or InnovationIf you haven't tried the Philippine Lechon, it's basically roasted suckling pig. The pig is roasted whole over open fire for hours and it's a favorite celebration food for Filipinos. The best part of the lechon of course, is the crispy skin, which is also the most challenging to serve. Folks would often fight to have a piece of it, but it's never enough for everyone :-)
The traditional version is simple and the meat is dipped in sweet pork liver sauce. I used to remember after every party we have, my mom would take the leftovers including the bones and make it into a stew called "paksiw" with the same liver sauce for the next day's meal.
When you head to Cebu though, the lechon there is roasted with herbs and spices that make the lechon meat a little bit saltier than the traditional version. They are eaten as is, or with some vinegar and chilis. The same crispy skin is what people enjoy too.
As people's taste change over the years, the traditional lechon has also evolved. Today, you can have a lechon with just the prime lechon belly meat without the bones and pig head served in front of you :-) And now, they even made a spicy version to it. Somehow, this makes the skin extra crispy and that's what we all love about the lechon.
Don't miss this, even Anthony Bourdain had to try it :-) Innovation brings new tastes, but I think people love traditions so maybe I'd go back to my original whole lechon, to which I associate with happy eating and happy celebrations! :)