LARD

January 13, 2010

I love this: I wrote a pro-lard article and managed to get it published. And paid for. Twice. (If you don’t believe me, just check out this month’s issue of EAT magazine.)

I know, I know, this seems completely insane. But it’s not. That’s because – wait for it – (ha, I just get so excited by this stuff!) – lard is good for you! In fact, lard is one of the healthiest cooking fats out there.

Pastry: one of the many thing for which I love to use LARD

Repeat after me: lard is not a four-letter word!

Just a small quote from my article, to amaze and tantalize you:

… lard is lower in saturated fat than most other commonly-used solid cooking oils. Lard comes in around 40% saturated fat… Even better, most of the remaining fat in lard’s make-up is oleic acid, the very same kind of monounsaturated fat that has made olive oil so famously good for you! Check that – lard equals fifty percent olive oil! Who knew?”

I will have the article posted to my website soon, so you can read all about it. In the meantime, you can read it by picking up a copy of EAT magazine, or visiting their website to read the issue on-line. For the truly die-hard fans out there, you can check out my previous pro-lard article, published six years ago (that’s me, always on the cutting edge, before the edge even knew it was cutting.)

Repeat after me: Lard is not a four-letter word.

As an aside: I am, of course, talking about the real deal: homemade lard, not the possibly suspect and probably hydrogenated supermarket lard. In the coming weeks, watch for my tutorials on how to make your own lard, as well as listings of local sources of organic and good-quality pork fat.

Also coming soon is some really exciting pastry inspiration, because we all know what lard does best… makes the perfect pie crust!

Comments (9)

  1. Great article Heidi. Sounds like my grandmother, like so many others, really was onto something with her pastry. Mine has NEVER turned out as well hers.

    Thanks for a link too, you have a terrific looking blog.

  2. Hi Frances, I only have up-to-date sources for Vancouver Island pork. If you are from elsewhere in BC, check on the Direct Farm Marketing Association for your region.

    On Vancouver island, you can order certified organic prok fat (when available) from Terra Nossa Farm in Mill Bay and Kildara Farm in Sidney. You can buy free-range happy pork fat from Sea Bluff Farm in Metchosin and from Phil’s Farm in Saanich.

  3. Hi Chef Heidi,
    FINALLY!!! Someone has spoken up for lard, my grandparents raised hogs on the family farm and at butchering time I was the designated renderer of the hog fat for lard. That stuff smelled so good and it makes the best pie crusts, biscuits and breads. That was their shortening and they didn’t have hardening of the arteries or heart attacks. None of them were overweight either. I have looked and Googled Organic Lard but haven’t been able to find it. Some farmer out there must have organic lard somewhere.

  4. Hi Heidi!
    I have always used lard to make my pie crusts, to the chagrin of the occasional guest. Thank you for agreeing with me! I see that you wrote this a couple of years ago. Have you since posted instructions for rendering lard at home?

  5. I am also keen to know if you have wrote about rendering lard at home. I had a quick brows through your directory links and I couldn’t find it. If it is there, horrah! Please point me in the right direction. If not, perhaps future inspiration? I am pretty keen!

  6. Thank you for this Heidi! I am in the process of building a pie business and was looking for a way to source local lard. So many people turn their noses up at the thought of lard, but don’t question the chemicals and additives in shortening. Its crazy! Plus, no question, lard makes the absolute best pastry.

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