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Tocino is bacon in Spanish, typically made from the pork belly, which is also popular in the Philippines. In Caribbean countries, such as Puerto Rico and Cuba, tocino is made from pork fatback (equivalent to slab bacon cut) and neither cured nor smoked, but just fried until very crunchy and added to recipes, much like lardons in French cuisine.
The meat is sliced into thin strips, and Anise wine, annatto, water, sugar, and salt are combined in a container. Each strip is then sprinkled with the mixture and stacked in a separate container, which is covered and kept refrigerated for about three days to cure.
Tocino is traditionally boiled in water (just enough water to cover the meat) or fried in oil, or is cooked over medium heat until the fat is rendered. The original tocino is marinated only with salt, sugar, and salitre (saltpetre), although pineapple juice may be added for a slightly tart flavor. Kapampangans who make tocino mix it for four to six hours in order to achieve thickness and softness of the meat, then leave it overnight at room temperature before serving it as burong babi (fermented pork).
Tocino is often served as the popular breakfast or lunchtime combination Tosilog, whose name is a portmanteau of tocino, sinangág (garlic rice) and itlóg (egg, which is cooked either sunny-side up or scrambled).
Tocino is cut into small squares and fried until crunchy and added to recipes like mofongo and arroz blanco con tocino, "White rice and Tocino". In Cuba, it can be added to soft bread.
In Spain, as in Venezuela (where bacon is "tocineta") the word tocino refers to the layer of fat under a pig's skin. It is almost pure fat, and is often salted and cut into cubes. It is consumed as part of traditional recipes such as Cocido.
- Filipino Pork Tocino Recipe
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- Tocino Puerto Rico