A is for Adobo

Friday, September 14, 2007


Mom celebrated her 63rd birthday this past weekend. In addition to inviting everyone she knew to her party, she also made sure everyone had enough to eat, plus go back for seconds, thirds ... fifths.

Since it was a special occasion, and that there would be many mouths to feed, she made sure that her party included that filipino party staple, a whole, spit-roasted pig, lovingly called lechon.

As a child, the image of a whole pig with an apple in its mouth, lying on the table along with typical party fare such as lumpia and pancit, was more unappetizing than anything else.

As an adult, I rarely eat lechon at parties. By the time I get to it, it's already cold, picked over, and everyone's already taken the best parts --- namely, the skin.

Now, don't get me wrong; crunchy, oven-baked (or fried) pig skin is good eatin'. There's nothing I like better than a hot, salty, crispy pork belly. (Wood Tavern in Oakland does it really well, but that's another post.) But I don't think most people pay attention to the sauce that traditionally goes with lechon. It's hard to explain; it's thick, rich, and at once both sweet and sour. It's a meat-based sauce --- okay, liver based --- probably one of the best things to happen to offal.

And my mom makes it the best.

So what's in it, really? Well, I'm not ready to share the details of mom's recipe with you guys just yet. Maybe one day.

And now, dinner:



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