If you have to name the one dish that typifies a Filipino celebration it is has to be the Lechon. From a young age, all of us Pinoys are conditioned to venerate the great lechon. How can you not? Look at the picture! The full sized pig sitting on a table, glistening golden brown from snout to tail. Just the anticipation of the crispy, and deliciously fatty, skin makes your mouth water. It's quite the treat.
You can have lechon any time of the year but the most obvious time of year for indulging in crispy pig skin is Christmas; you always hope that the party you're going to will have one. Even better? You wish and hope that a lechon will be magically gifted to you.
Guess what? My family was super lucky to receive such a roasted pig this Christmas. Our very own lechon was delivered to our door today courtesy of one of my Dad's clients. Yes, we were all super excited. We were actually supposed to receive the lechon on Thursday but for some reason it didn't arrive. So we waited. By end of Thursday we were all wondering. Where is the piggy? The piggy didn't arrive on Friday either. We were beginning to get worried. What if it got lost along the way? I guess I should mention at this point that the pig was coming from Cebu, a city south of Manila known for a different style of lechon. So here comes Saturday and we're still wondering where the piggie is and if it's coming at all. Finally, when my Dad picks me and Mum up from shopping he let us know that the piggie had arrived.
A word on this pig. This particular lechon comes from Cebu. A city known for the fabulous Shangri-La Mactan resort, lovely handicrafts and it's own style of lechon. The standard (but delicious) lechon is a full sized roasted pig and is served with a peppery sauce. The Cebu-style lechon is somewhat smaller, don't know why, and is saltier and doesn't have a sauce. Apparently, this is because the entire piggie is marinated in a sauce giving it its distinctive salty-goodness. I do believe that when Anthony Bourdain came to the Philippines to film "No Reservations" he had a Cebu lechon. Mmmmm good.
Enjoy the pics and no, we do not add an apple to the pig's mouth. I've never seen it done here. Ever.
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