The loin is located on both sides of the backbone starting at the shoulder and continuing back to the hind leg. It is the largest, most tender and leanest cut from the pig. Some of the cuts from this primal cut demand the most in price because of their quality. It is important to be careful not to overcook some of these cuts because they will dry out easily due to their leanness. The cuts from the loin are available both with bone-in and boneless. Some of the cuts available from the pork loin are roasts, chops, back ribs, rack of pork, tenderloin, steaks, Canadian-style bacon, and button ribs. Cubes and strips are also available for kabobs, stir-frying or stewing. In addition, the pork loin is available as a dry-cured product, similar to a sausage, that is commonly produced in European countries such as Spain. The dried variety, referred to as Lomo de Cerdo, is dry cured with garlic, paprika, sugar, pepper, and other spices to enhance the flavor of this meat. Thinly sliced, dried pork loin is served as a luncheon meat, an appetizer with cheese, or eaten as a side dish flavored with a topping of olive oil.
The pork loin primal cut can be purchased whole and then cooked whole or it can be cut down into sub-primal and retail cuts. Purchasing the whole primal cut will be more economical, but if you are not knowledgeable on how to cut the primal cut into smaller cuts, it may result in too much waste and incorrect cuts. If a whole primal cut is desired, you will generally need to order it in advance. They are available fresh, cured, smoked, bone-in, boneless, and fully cooked.