lard as a health food?

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photo courtesy of Ashley Rodriguez, from NotWithoutSalt.com
Lard. We've written about it here before, shared Ashley's technique for rendering lard, and shared Kate McDermott's secret of leaf lard for great pie crust.

And then we found Pete Wells' account of his initiation into the beauties of cooking with lard, in Food and Wine.

You have to read it. A sneak peek:

“After hanging out in your mouth for a minute, though, a lard-fried crust becomes soft and creamy, as voluptuous as a Rubens nude but not as heavy. All my kitchen slipups didn't stop me from recognizing that lard is the most elegant fat I've ever met. Even the absence of pork flavor, which at first struck me as a flaw, only made lard seem more delicate and refined.”

Well, those are our thoughts exactly.

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2 thoughts on “lard as a health food?

  1. Wow, I wasn’t aware that lard had so much less saturated fat than butter. I doubt I’ll be doing any of my own rendering though – do you have any recommendations for a good non-hydrogenated lard brand? I noticed that Pete Wells said that all the ready made ones were hydrogenated, so that’s why he made his own.

  2. Thanks for writing about lard!! My husband and I have been rendering and cook with lard for a little over a year now. I was looking for an alternative to dairy for baking/cooking after I found out I had a serious allergy to dairy. But we were mortified by the commercial lard with all the hydrogenated stuff. So we went to our local butcher who uses locally raised pigs for the fat. He gave us a box full of the stuff free of charge.

    We were, of course, a little nervous about the rendering process but it turned out to be a blast. And what we got for our effort is a delicious cooking/baking fat and the most amazing cracklins to boot. My husband came up with the brillant idea of pouring the freshly rendered, still hot lard into cupcake wrappers that measure exactly 1/2 cup for easy use. We store them in a container in the freezer and use them in our tamales, stir frys, fried rice, egg dishes, etc. It imparts the most subtle, wonderful flavor to the dish without overpowering any of the more delicate flavors.

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