The tocino covers the entire animal as an insulating fat layer, so it can show up in a wide variety of pork cuts like panceta and papada. Still, when a Spanish butcher talks about tocino, he usually means the fat that covers the lower part, that is, the animal’s belly, which is a massively thick piece of white, pure fat called panceta.
As you know, fat is all about flavor, so it’s not uncommon to see cooks add this fatty cut to stews or ‘cocidos’ and broths. With a thickness between 1.5 and 4 inches, this is one good piece of pork fat. When the pig is fed in the open in Spain’s verdant acorn fields, the fat is as flavorful as it comes.