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Colombian Lechona, World’s Best Pork Dish


Colombian Lechona, World's Best Pork Dish
Colombia’s traditional dish, the lechona, has clinched the top spot in the global ranking of the 100 best pork dishes. Credit: A.P./Colombia One

Colombia’s traditional dish, the lechona, has clinched the top spot in the global ranking of the 100 best pork dishes, as reported by TasteAtlas, a renowned gastronomy review and rating website.

In TasteAtlas’ ranking, Lechona outshone global competitors such as Brazil’s picanha, Mexico’s cochinita pibil, and Argentina’s bife chorizo. It even surpassed the traditional Chinese dish, dongpo, which secured the second spot.

Lechona secures top spot in global pork dish ranking

The lechona, a traditional Colombian delicacy, involves roasting a whole pig stuffed with onions, peas, potatoes, fresh herbs, and various spices until the meat becomes tender and succulent. This unique Colombian dish has garnered a five-star rating from the specialized publication.

Hailing from the Tolima Grande region, the lechona has deep historical roots, dating back to the colonial era when a pig would be roasted by the upper-class Spaniards for special celebrations like Christmas. The dish is a more elaborate descendant of the Spanish roast.

Over time, it has become an iconic part of Colombian gastronomy, earning recognition to the extent that June 29 has been officially celebrated as National Lechona Day in El Espinal, Tolima, since 2004.

Other dishes that entered the ranking

In the fiercely contested global ranking, the Colombian lechona outshone international contenders, surpassing China’s Dongpo pork and Mexico’s traditional carnitas. The Dongpo pork, securing the second spot with a rating of 4.8 stars, is a Chinese dish featuring pork belly cooked in a rich red sauce with essential Chinese ingredients like ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine. Meanwhile, the third spot was claimed by the renowned Mexican carnitas, originating from the state of Michoacan, praised for its tender and succulent meat, earning a score of 4.6 stars.

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