Yesterday was all about food–both the good and the not-so-good-for-you variety. We had a children’s party to go to at Pizza Hut in the afternoon and a vegetarian buffet of a fundraiser for dinner.
At the party, we got to taste Pizza Hut’s latest concoction–the Lechon Pizza. Yes, it is as sinful as it sounds. Lechon or roasted suckling pig is a beloved Filipino menu staple in fiestas, parties and all forms of celebrations. As celebrations and get-togethers are especially in full swing during the holiday season, it’s no wonder a pizza chain finally thought of incorporating many Filipinos’ favorite fiesta fare into their pies at this time of the year. So was it a genius mash-up or two things that never should have gotten together?
It was topped with crispy lechon skin (though some tasted more like chicharon or pork cracklings–which my carnivore of a husband didn’t mind), lechon meat, cheese, roasted garlic and lechon sauce (a sauce typically made of chicken livers combined with vinegar, pepper and garlic). There’s no doubt about it, the star of this pizza is lechon and it is the overpowering flavor in each bite. That along with the lechon sauce–which P and I were not so crazy about. With the pizza’s rich flavor and its satiety level off the charts, one slice was enough for me. And surprisingly even for P, who wanted to be a little good by not eating too much of it. The combination might be an acquired taste for many (especially if you love your cholesterol-laden meat dish on its own) but if you’re a lechon lover you know you’ll want to try it.
We also didn’t want to eat so much, because we were heading to a vegetarian dinner afterward. The Sattvik Cooperative of the shala where my sister practices yoga these days was holding its first “International Vegetarian Dinner.” It was my sister’s treat for our newfound tradition of a ‘sisters day-out’ sort of thing. The event was supposedly an “Artful Mix of Taste, Awareness and Entertainment” and it lived up to that promise with some yoga posture presentation (done by ultra-flexible yogi teens, one of whom was appropriately named Pretzel), short talks on naturopathy by Dr. Omar Arabia (I wanted to hear more of his lecture on food and visit his resto Blissful Belly) and useful plants of the Philippines by Dr. Rummel Dietmar, musical and dance performances, and of course the really tasty vegetarian dinner.
The vegetarian buffet spread included papadam, some pica-pica, different types of salads, vegetable curry dishes, and vegetarian versions of local Filipino dishes like kare-kare (a peanut-sauce-based stew typically made with oxtail and tripe), mock pork barbecue, dinuguan (originally a pork blood stew), and pancit (noodles).
It was a lot of food. It was really good (and good for you) and there were a lot of interesting flavors, but we didn’t go back for a second heaping. I could still feel the heaviness of the lechon pizza in my tummy. Today, I know I have to do some yoga.