On one of my frequent trips to Cebu, I brought home some very tasty pasalubong conveniently found at the airport. Coming into Cebu, I usually get a healthy breakfast of toast, so going out of Cebu, ToT decided to indulge in a little more cholesterol
Some Zubuchon Lechon!
Located at the airport concessionaire area of Mactan Domestic Airport, its cute logo catches your eye in no time after passing through the final x-ray inspection area and heading towards the Pasalubong stores.
The stall is quite small, but well designed and has a good stock of packed lechon sealed and ready for take-off.
The one thing that catches your eye is a picture of ZE Anthony Bourdain (of No Reservations fame) amongst petite Filipino folk. During his culinary tour of the Philippines for said Discovery show. Anthony pronounced that this version of lechon was "the best pig ever" that he had tasted. After that feature, throngs of queries to find that exact version of lechon flooded Market Man, and inspired his staff to make an entrepreneurial run for it.
So I brought home a box to try out for dinner. If No Reservations makes a statement about this hip red piggy, I knew it was worth a try
At the airport they pack it impeccably and does not emit any porky odor whatsoever. I was excited to taste the flavors of this organic, au naturelle versino of our much loved roasted pork.
It came with instructions on how to reheat it, saying it was only good for 3 days after buying, so I decided to heat it to retain its flavor, which comes from the "freshest and often home grown organic lemongrass, green onions, siling labuyo or peppers, local sea salt, and other herbs and spices," stated Zubuchon's Market Man
One thing they also don't use is MSG, which is privy to many Cebu lechons to heighten the pork's flavor. They support sustainable efforts buy buying pigs from small farmers who raise a small litter of porkers on their own backyard.
Another distinct characteristic of Zubuchon is the crispy yet prickled skin that looks like it's been popping from heat. In reality, they apply "accupuncture" on the porkers. They prick the skin of the pig before roasting them on an open fire from local charcoal and don't use any mechanical contraptions whatsoever. The prickly skin is quite unique and adds another dimension to lechon skin. They also don't put any soy sauce in the skin, but still has a very rosy looking coat.
After heating my take-home Zubuchon, I've got to say that the meat is awfully tender, and you can still taste the flavor of the pork. It is not overly salty of over-seasoned, like some overzealous lechoneros in Cebu who jam pack the cavity with flavor mixes and salt to give extra flavor. The herbs stand out to interact with the sweetness of the pork and give our palates a more refined flavor profile of the infamously tasty Cebu Lechon.
The only downside is the skin was not crispy no matter how hard I tried to crisp it up! Must try the fresh Zubuchon this weekend while I'm there so I can fully assess the beauty of this well-made lechon.
Learn more about Market Man and the ZUBUCHON
Banilad Town Center
by Robinsons Supermarket
Telephone: +63 32 236 5264/ 583 5699
Mobile: +63 917 627 4761
Mactan Domestic Airport
Pre Departure Lounge