Mercat a la Planxa, Chicago, IL
December 18th is National Suckling Pig Day & we can’t think of a better place to celebrate than Mercat a la Planxa! Pig roasting is a symbol of celebrations across the globe in many different countries. From Hawaii, to Puerto Rico, Spain, the UK, and the Philippines. Pig roasts are a fun way to get people together and have a great meal. A pig roast is the perfect way to connect age-old celebratory traditions with modern-day parties.
On the windswept plateau where Madrid is perched, it’s too dry to raise cattle and most crops. So pork has long been a mainstay, from jamón ibérico and charcuterie tapas to stews of pigs’ ears and entrails. But when locals want a really special treat, they go for an entire piglet roasted whole — head, hooves and all — on an oak wood fire.
Cochinillo Asado, or roast suckling pig, is part of a tradition of farm-to-table eating that’s appeared in literature, from Cervantes to Hemingway, for centuries. The pigs have typically been raised on family farms in the Spanish provinces within about 100 miles from Madrid. They’re fed only their mothers’ milk and are slaughtered at the age of 4 to 5 weeks before being transported to restaurants in the capital. In olden days, that was at least a day’s ride on horseback. Now it takes a couple hours by truck. A baby piglet is very delicate. The newborns haven’t built up any natural defenses and drink only their mothers’ milk. Young pigs are considerably valued, especially due to the tenderness of the meat and also the size which makes for a very dramatic presentation of the meal.
If you’re looking for a unique element to add to your next celebratory dinner, you simply MUST try our Cochinillo Asado. Mercat serves this delicious meal with traditional Spanish sides of Rosemary White Beans, Herb Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Espinacas a la Catalana & Grilled Green Onions. A pig can be ordered whole to serve 10-12 guests or by the half order serving 5-8 guests. Here at Mercat, we require 72 hours advance notice to be sure we have the proper amount of pigs in hand. Our talented Chefs will carve tableside & answer all your questions personally. We also offer this succulent delicacy for pick up should you want to keep the party at your home. Stop in this month & join us to celebrate National Suckling Pig Day!