There is certainly no fiesta celebration in the Philippines without a lechon. Roasted suckling pig, or lechon in Spanish, has always been a staple dish, if not the favorite food, in every Filipino festival or special occasion.
Here in Cagayan de Oro, this month, lechon will surely be the centerpiece of the buffet type table in homes.
Other provinces also hold lechon festivals annually.
Filipinos crave for lechon all year round, and for this reason, there are now a variety of lechon dishes, such as adobong lechon, lechon paksiw, lechon roll, lechon binagoongan, lechon sisig, lechon pata tim, and lechon sinigang, among others.
Of all the Filipino lechon dishes, the original Cebu lechon remains the popular choice. It is touted as the best-tasting lechon in the world. Cebu’s lechon recipes have reached foreign shores, impressing Filipinos overseas and even celebrity chefs.
What makes Filipino-style lechon different from the roasted pig dishes of other countries is its crispiness and unique flavor.
Filipinos have a special sauce for lechon. The lechon sauce is made with crushed pork or chicken liver, vinegar, sugar, breadcrumbs, and other spices. It can be homemade or store-bought; either way, the sauce adds extra flavor to the dish.
Filipinos’ love for sawsawan has made the Mang Tomas brand synonymous with lechon. Mang Tomas All-Around Sarsa was created in the 1980s and named after late businessman Tomas de los Reyes, the person behind the first-ever lechon shop in La Loma, Quezon City, in 1954.
At present, NutriAsia’s Mang Tomas is one of the leading brands of lechon sauce in the Philippines. It is also competing with famous sauce brands in the global market.
Mang Tomas is the preferred sauce of most Filipinos because of its distinctly sweet, salty, and spicy taste. It gives a Pinoy flavor to simple, everyday dishes, such as fried pork, chicken, and fish.
Over the years, the all-around sarsa has become a part of Pinoy family meals and the Filipino cuisine. Mang Tomas is the sauce of choice during fiestas, particularly the Lechon Festival. (pr)