An ingenious Cebuano-innovated and Cebuano-made product in which you may be quite interested was introduced commercially in February 2012. It is called Cebu's Original Lechon Belly, and the technique for producing it was actually conceptualized back in August 2011, by Marlon Gochan, a proud Cebuano. The product was registered with the Philippines' Department of Trade and Industry early in 2012.
Mr. Gochan said that this new technique for preparing the pork takes lechon to a whole other level. The cooking technique is similar to the slow-roasting over an open charcoal fire for the traditional Cebu lechon, which is famous all over the Philippines and even in other parts of the world. The big difference is that Cebu's Original Lechon Belly is a boneless lechon because a whole pork belly or side of pork is deboned and spiced up with special ingredients. When you stop and think about it, this all-meat lechon is highly cost-effective, and you get to eat the best part of the lechon straightaway. The all-meat lechon of course has the crispy skin that many people think of as an essential part of the lechon experience, along with its juicy meat.
The main product of Cebu's Original Lechon Belly is its Boneless Lechon sold as a whole. Its net cooked weight starts at around three or four kilos. It can be great to serve at parties, with no more long waiting lines while the lechon is carved bit by bit at your buffet table. The product is also sold in the following portions:
- 1/4 kilo serves 2-3 pax
- 1/2 kilo serves 4-6 pax
- 3/4 kilo serves 7-9 pax
- 1 kilo serves 10-12 pax
These above-mentioned portions as well as the Boneless Lechon sold as a whole are offered at introductory prices. A budget pack that consists of a serving of conveniently sliced lechon belly plus the necessary Pinoy staple food, rice, is also available.[nggallery id=8]
Cebu's Original Lechon Belly opened its initial food stalls already, in the North Bus Terminal and on P. del Rosario Street (fronting the USC main campus). Because the business owners themselves like to say "To taste is to believe," some early birds were the lucky recipients of the product's free taste testing event that was conducted at the North Bus Terminal on February 25, 2012. The owners invited people in Cebu to have their own taste test of the product. For instance, Cebu's Original Lechon Belly gave a taste test for some staff members of Cebu's Sun.Star and SuperBalita. The food product also found some initial supporters from the staff of a couple of Mabolo and SM banks near its outlets.
In the early days of March 2012, the boneless lechon became available at the Waka Waka Grill on Wilson Street, Lahug. Later, some more outlets are to be opened at the Capitol area, on San Jose Extension near Chong Hua Hospital's Medical Arts building and in Poblacion, Lapu-lapu City. Outlets at Cebu's malls (like Parkmall) are also planned and are undergoing the customary business processing for now. For the year 2012, Cebu's Original Lechon Belly planned to open no less than thirty (30) food stalls or outlets all over the Cebu area so that anyone in Cebu can savor the superb taste of the lechon belly. Mr. Gochan enthusiastically said in Bisaya that Cebu's Original Lechon Belly could be Cebu's best bet against other food products here in the Philippines, and he's justifiably proud of the fact that Cebuanos thought it up.
This business is owned and operated by members of the Gochan family, which has been involved with a number of other businesses in Cebu. Two of these are the Gochan real estate corporation and the former Dairy King ice cream parlor on Mango Avenue, which was quite popular back in the 1970s and 1980s. Knowing about Dairy King was actually mentioned as one of the details that could identify a person as a Cebuano of the '80s.
Perhaps you already can't wait until this lip-smacking lechon belly product is at a food stall or counter in your own vicinity. To find out more on Cebu's Original Lechon Belly, you can check out its Web site at http://www.cebuslechonbelly.com/ and the Facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/CEBUS-ORIGINAL-LECHON-BELLY-the-Boneless-Lechon/320912071289867 or you could get in touch with the owners by sending [email protected] an e-mail message about the product. For your orders and inquiries, you may call the main office at telephone and fax number (032) 232-1155.
Cebu's Original Lechon Belly currently has its main office at the Gochan Compound in Mabolo, Cebu City.
A. North Bus Terminal outlet
B. P. del Rosario Street outlet (fronting USC main campus)
C. Waka Waka Grill, Wilson Street, Lahug
D. Gochan Compound, Mabolo