Joy, harmony and a roast pig: South Floridians celebrate Nochebuena

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Forget the chestnuts. For many families across South Florida, it was pigs that were roasting on an open fire this Christmas Eve.

The Espinosa family in Southwest Miami-Dade was no exception. They opened up their home to 7News to show how they celebrated Nochebuena, as well as the deeper meaning behind the occasion.

“We always have a blast,” said Laura Davis, who joined loved ones in enjoying the festivities.

And they all revolve around a pig. “So the pig is what brings our family together,” said Davis. “This has been a tradition since we were basically born.”

It’s a tradition that goes back generations. The Espinosas come together to eat, laugh and, of course, honor this special holiday.

“Our culture involves food, and we gather around, and this is where we laugh about times that we’ve had together,” said Davis. “This is the time that we all get together, no matter how busy we are.”

“We see family that normally we don’t see throughout the year, so, on this day, there are no excuses,” said Laura Espinosa.

The party goes well into the night but begins days earlier with — what else? — picking the right pig.

“My grandfather and my father have always gone to a pig farm, and they just pick out a pig that has to be the right one, whatever that means,” said Davis. “We prepare it the day before, which is also kind of a big deal.”

The main dish is then seasoned, slow cooked and flipped. After hours of roasting comes the pig finale.

“It’s kind of like opening a present on Christmas morning,” said one family member. “You see the pig, everyone wants to see it done, and everyone wants to hear the first crack of the skin come off and be able to taste the skin.”

If you think the party ends on Christmas Eve, this family says, think again.

“We just get sit together and sit back, like, ‘That was awesome. That was fun,'” said Davis. “Now we can relax and, you know, we’re still kind of stuffed, and so we just sit down and hang out.”

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