Lechona Tolimense -- Not to Miss Cuisine

When talking about the food of Tolima, there is probably nothing more Tolimense than their signature dish -- LECHONA. In fact, the production of Lechona for fiestas in Tolima dates back several centuries. It really IS what's for dinner in Tolima at just about any big celebration -- weddings, baptisms, Christmas, New Year's etc.What is Lechona? In a few words, stuffed roasted pig. How is it made? First, you take the 50 pound pig and debone it and clean it out --making sure to leave the skin intact. Next, you take all of the ribs and meat and chop them up with an axe and add them to about 10 pounds of pork meat (cut in small chunks) and marinate (adobar) it all in a mixture of garlic, green onions, cumin, salt and pepper. Then, you cook the meat in lard. You also prepare rice, peas, and potatoes to add to the mixture.
When all the stuffing ingredients are mixed together, you stuff the pig and then sew it up. You cover the skin with bitter orange juice and cook it all for about 15 hours. Serves: 50
Lechona Tolimense is delicious, heart clogging, but so worth at least one try. It is typically available in at least one restaurant in any medium to large city in Colombia. Ask your driver to take you to try some, and of course, if you are in Ibague -- don't miss the opportunity to try authentic Lechona Tolimense.
*Photos by:


Anonymous said…
Very interesting! But if we don't eat pork? is there any hope for us when we travel to Colombia? Do you know the names of the dishes that typically contain only chicken?
KIT said…
This is probably one of the best meals in Colombia, and well worth the effort of finding a place that has it on the menu. Just make sure you get a nice big piece of the skin, that's the best part.
Tom & Carrie said…
To anonymous -
No worries you will find all types of meat in Colombia - not just pork. Arroz con pollo is very popular as is basic fried or baked chiken. The food was great.
Colombian Mommy said…
To anonymous--
There are MANY different food choices -- check out the CUISINE section and the RECIPES section of the blog to see some of them. There are PLETHORA of chicken, fish, and beef recipes. There are also Kosher restaurants and markets if that is an issue. If Kosher is something you are focusing on, read the RELIGION section of the blog for information on the Colombian Jewish community.

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