American in Spain

Tocino - Espresso Bacon

August 27, 2007

Today we will continue the series of "Strange things to eat in Spain". You may recall such delicacies as pig snout, octopus, blood sausage, and cow tongue. Tocino is the layer of fat under a pig's skin. It's served salted and grilled. Tocino

See the little bristly black pig hairs? (see larger) Yes, it's all eaten. Look at how it glistens with fatty goodness!

If I had to describe the flavor in two words, it would be "espresso bacon". It's everything that's good about bacon, magnified 50 times. When properly salted, it really is beautiful sensory experience. But you can only ever eat it in small doses, both because the flavor is so strong and because myocardial infarctions aren't cool.

This plate was served as a free snack with our glasses of wine at a local bar. We mainly concentrate our business with the three bars in town with high probability of snack offerings.

I think the hooves are the only part of the pig not consumed in Spain. Although now that I've said that, there's probably some farmer gnawing on a hoof right now.