“As the day goes by, their smiley heads are aligned. They accommodate fresh chilies between their teeth, so their smiles become guffaws”.


When you encounter an hornado face to face, it’s inevitable to feel a bit medieval. Although not medieval in the sense of troubadours and knight joustings, but medieval like pig-with-an-apple-in-the-mouth feast, no cutlery. The word “hornado” probably lost an “e” from “horneado” (roasted in Spanish) in the rush of the market, but this lack doesn’t really provide any mystery on the nature of the dish: it is roasted pork (surprise!). It’s very popular around the mountains, because it has too many calories for a coast diet, although you can find it around the whole Country and it usually comes with llapingachos and a side salad.

What surprises me is the size the women’s ovens must be to be able to host whole pigs. Besides, how do they manipulate the animal by themselves? Put it in the oven, take it out, serve it... it must be almost heroic!

If one is feeling anachronistic and wants to try this at home, the best is to follow this humble instructions:

1. Clean the pig leg and score it deeply to spread a paste of salt, black pepper, cumin and mashed garlic.

2. Let it marinade for 24 hours in the fridge.

3. Add beer and let it sit in the fridge for two more days, turning it every 8 hours.

4. The roasting lasts for 2 to 4 hours per kg of pork.