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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 lechón; that refers to a suckling pig that is roasted. Lechón is a popular food in the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, other Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America, and Spain. The dish features a whole roasted pig cooked over charcoal. Additionally, it is a national dish of the Philippines with Cebu being acknowledged by American chef, Anthony Bourdain as having the best pig, and also being the national dish of Puerto Rico. Nowadays in most of Latin America, the original use of a suckling pig has given way to a medium-sized adult pig. Various livestock or domesticated animals could also be used.
In most regions, lechón is prepared throughout the year for any special occasion, during festivals, and the holidays. 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. The pig is roasted on all sides for several hours until done. The process of cooking and basting usually results in making the pork skin crisp and is a distinctive feature of the dish.
In the Philippines, the swine industry contributes second in the agricultural sector being almost completely without subsidy.[unreliable source?] The reason for this can be attributed to it being the favorite of the locals, and tourists, with a consumption rate that is continuously increasing. One such example would be that in Cebu alone an estimate of 65,000 lechón is produced for the month of Dec 2010.
- Vicky B. Bartlet (17 December 2011). "Palmonas: Make 'buko' juice as national drink". Business Mirror. Retrieved 26 January 2012. "In his House Resolution 1887, Agham (Science) Party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones said the Philippines has already a number of national symbols, such as narra as national tree, sampaguita as national flower, mango as national fruit, milkfish as national fish and lechon (roast pig) as national dish."
- Lara Day (23 April 2009). "Pork Art". Time. Retrieved 8 April 2013. "Anthony Bourdain — whose love of all things porcine is famous — visited the Philippine island of Cebu with his show No Reservations and declared that he had found the best pig ever"
- Cohen, Tina; Bernthal, Ron (2006). Puerto Rico Off the Beaten Path, 5th: Volume 5 of OFF THE BEATEN PATH PUERTO RICO. Globe Pequot Press. p. xi. ISBN 978-0-7627-4211-0. Retrieved 26 January 2012. "Lechon asado (roasted suckling pig) is the national dish of Puerto Rico and is festively presented at holidays and family occasions."
- Zoilo M. Lapus (24 March 2009). "Swine Production in the Philippines". pig333.com. Retrieved 8 April 2013. "The PHP 160 billion hog industry is the second leading contributor to Philippine agriculture coming in second to rice despite being almost exclusively without government subsidy."
- The Historical Lechón
- Lechón en la varita - Lechón Asado
- Philippines Swine Meat Domestic Consumption by Year
- Livestock: Inventory