Forget tapas of the week, this could be tapas of the year!
How to describe tocino? The dictionary says ‘fat’, but that is like describing caviar simply as ‘fish eggs’. Let’s see, you know the white around the edge of ham that your mum always tried to persuade you was the best bit when you were young? It’s the same stuff, and guess what, it turns out she was right.
Tocino Iberico, however, the delicate fat that warms the flanks of Iberian pigs as they forage for acorns in cork forests, is in a league of its own. The photo above was taken in the wonderful Cumbres Mayores tapas bar in Cadiz, where these inconceivably thin slices of tocino, streaked with a fissure of ham, were warmed slightly in the oven and served on curled up bread sticks. The tocino literally melted on the tounge, a smokey, acorney, subtle delight. Forget the fish eggs, you can give me pig fat like this any day of the week.
Would you eat the white around this ham?