Lard, your fat of choice?


Going through the pictures I took in New Orleans, I stumbled upon this cute sign inside the fantastic Kitchen Witch bookstore in the French Quarter.  It got me thinking about lard.  Even with renaissance of our love affair with pork, I don’t hear much about lard as the fat of choice in our cooking.  I myself love lard.  When I was growing up in Thailand, there was always a crock of home-rendered lard right above the gas stove, from which our cook would scoop up the semi-congealed fat by the ladle every time she stir-fried or deep-fried something.  If I had a choice, my last meal would be crisp Thai-style omelette fried in lard, on top of fragrant steamed Jasmine rice with lots of Sriracha (see-ra-sha) sauce.  It had to be lard, of course, because other fat would not fry the eggs as fluffy and as crisp.

What about you?  Are you, too, happy because you eat lard?  Or are you afraid of it?  What’s your fat of choice in your cooking, and why?

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118 Responses to “Lard, your fat of choice?

  • DrGaellon said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 12:19pm

    The fat of my childhood memories is schmaltz – chicken fat from koshered chickens, rendered with lots and lots of onions. Grandma’s matzo brie (matzos moistened with water, broken into large pieces and coated with beaten egg, fried in schmaltz) was a Passover favorite, and chopped liver just doesn’t taste right without a couple of tablespoons of schmaltz and a huge helping of gribenes (the crispy brown bits of onion and chicken skin left over after the fat is rendered). I’ve made my own schmaltz, but it isn’t the same as Grandma’s.

  • Veron said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 12:23pm

    If good lard was readily available, I would use it to fry stuff. Always wondered why fried chicken tasted better back in the Philippines. Besides the chicken being half the size of what is available here, I bet the lard has a lot to do with flavor.

  • Fuji mama said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 12:27pm

    Mmmmm, I love cooking with lard, you end up with such fantastic flavor. I think it’s sad that we have gotten so afraid of using natural fats in our cooking in the US that we sacrifice flavor for processed junk, and in the process probably end up eating more instead of savoring what we eat. I don’t know if I have a fat of choice for cooking. It depends on what I’m cooking!

  • Mimi said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 12:59pm

    I just went on a search recently to find lard so I could make my first ever tamales. Sadly the only stuff I could find was hydrogenated so I opted to use an organic non hydrogenated vegetable shortening instead. I subsequently did some searching and found a source for non-hydrogenated leaf lard online (prairie pride farm) that I will order and try next time. The tamales came out great but I want to see how the lard compares. I mean, how could it not make the flavors even better?!

  • Vallen Queen said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 1:11pm

    Since living in Mexico where lard IS the fat of choice I have kept a jar of it next to the stove ready to use. There’s nothing else that gives that flavor. Nothing. Use to buy it by the bag in the chicharron stall at the market, here in the states I just use bacon drippings. Mmmmm mmm mm!

  • The Purple Foodie said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 1:20pm

    LArd is something I’ve always been curious about because this is something that I just can’t find locally. I’ve read such good things about lard – esp about how good they are in pie dough.

  • oakley said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 1:45pm

    Would *LOVE* to cook with lard. But that’d freak my hubby out. Heh.

  • Jennifer Hess said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 2:10pm

    We get great leaf lard and fatback from the pork guy at our farmers’ market, and my husband renders them down separately for use in cooking and baking – everything from making biscuits and crusts to softening tortillas or preparing refried beans. We also keep a semi-ridiculous amount of duck fat in the fridge for confit and other uses. I save bacon grease and reuse it (a habit passed on by my parents and grandmothers), and we’ve got a schmaltz bag in the freezer right next to our stock-making bags. I keep 2 or 3 olive oils around at a given time, and when we can get good, local cream, I love to make my own butter.
    I do love lard, but all these fats make me happy. 🙂

  • CrazyC said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 3:06pm

    Growing up in Singapore, many of the noodle hawker stalls have crispy bits of pork fat that they fry up. Solid lard fried into crispy bits… How can you go wrong!?

  • Kyrie said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 3:26pm

    I just rendered lard for the first time! We got the fat from our pork guy at the farmers’ market, too. Now I have a gallon jar full and am looking forward to some good cooking 🙂
    Before I could get hold of that, though, I used a lot of reserved bacon grease and raw, pastured butter. Yum.

  • pam said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 3:54pm

    Duck fat to roast potatoes is one of my favorite things! It is a pity that professing one’s love for fat these days is like saying you like smoking!

  • txdonna said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 4:51pm

    I’ve always been curious about lard, like the Purple Foodie, but I’ve just never had the guts to try it. I love olive oil to cook with and butter is absolutely the best to bake with, but I admit I like a balance in my baked good, so I usually pair it with some shortening.
    I do have a question, though. Is the lard you find in the grocery store the same as any lard you’d use? How do you go about rendering your own?
    Any help would be appreciated.

  • PJ said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 5:38pm

    When I was growing up in Bangkok, some of our cooking oil came from the lard that was the result of the ‘moo sam chan’ It was cut up in small pieces and slowly fried until they were crispy. We saved the lard near the cooking area. I can’t think of the name of those crispy pieces of pork. They used to add them to ‘pad prik khing’. Sometimes, we ate them with rice and ‘nam pla prik kee noo’. BTW, I really enjoy your post. I read it everyday.

  • Eralda said:
    June 15th, 2009 at 9:07pm

    I love clarified butter. I love its nutty taste and smell. My grandmother would always bring us some of her homemade clarified butter, and even though my mom would keep it locked up as if it was gold, I would always manage to get my hands on it and spread it on a fresh crusty slice of bread. Heaven!

  • Diane said:
    June 16th, 2009 at 12:06am

    I’m not afraid of Lard. Its the only thing to cook Yorkshire Puddings in. When I was little the Pork or Beef “dripping” was always saved from the Sunday roast and eaten spread on bread later in the week. The best bit was the “mucky dripping” – the meaty salty bit at the bottom. My Grandad lived on Lard for most of his life, and even poured a bit onto his fried bacon. He was the youngest of 9 children and only the ones who worked got to eat meat, the rest ate the fat and bread or potatoes. He lived to be 94 and was very rarely ill (he only once had a cold and thought he was dying!!). He used to keep his own animals and grow his own veg. He didnt smoke or drink and had a very hard manual job (woodcutter before the age of power tools).Being Fat is more about lifestyle I think.

  • Stacey B said:
    June 16th, 2009 at 3:07am

    I think of lard, at least the home rendered sort as winter food. Rice with rendered bacon fat is the most common use around here, as well as refried beans. In Colorado, where I used to live, they sell lard in the grocery store in gallon containers, I don’t think I could ever bring myself to by it.

  • Eva said:
    June 16th, 2009 at 6:05am

    Real butter! On anything and everything! 🙂
    I don’t eat meat, so I don’t use lard but I might try it once in a life for curiosity sake 🙂

  • Pim said:
    June 16th, 2009 at 7:59am

    I had that once in Heidelberg, Germany. It was served spread on bread like butter. Unfortunately the version I had was some kind of awful. I remember it tasting like licking a used pan. Ew. Yours sound so much better, especially the gribenes part.

  • Pim said:
    June 16th, 2009 at 8:00am

    It’s the same with really good fried chicken in Thailand. Yum.

  • Caro said:
    June 16th, 2009 at 1:30pm

    Thank you for coming to visit New Orleans! I work a block from the Kitchen Witch, and I stop in there all the time. The owners are the sweetest couple, and will occasionally have cooking parties..

  • Christy said:
    June 16th, 2009 at 2:32pm

    You have inspired me to comb the internet for instructions and tips for rendering fat. My father’s family used to have a jar of lard for cooking and that appeared at every meal. They still smack their lips when they remenisce over it–though fat-fearing health scares ended the tradition in my family. I think it’s time to bring it back. And then I’ll be everyone’s favorite daughter/niece/grandchild.

  • When Pigs Fly said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 4:25am

    Just found your blog. Supposedly lard is the new fat of choice. I have yet to cook with it myself as I have not had the stomach to render it myself. But, it seems much more appealing than using that scary substitute, Crisco. Will return for more insights.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:21am

    I totally agree. It’s funny to me that people confess their fear of lard while at the same time reaching for their snickers bar.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:26am

    I’m not sure I like the idea of hydrogenated lard. I usually render the lard myself when I need it, I like doing it for the cracklings I get as a by-product.
    Here’s more about hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated lard.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:29am

    I love fry eggs in bacon fat.

  • Vallen Queen said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:39am

    Nothin’ could be finer!!! Refried beans, too, must have “manteca” to make them just right!!

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:40am

    Actually I’ve never tried lard in pie dough myself. I love the flavor of butter in regular pie dough. Michel Bras has a recipe using duck fat, which I’ve been curious about for a long time. I might try it one day.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:41am

    Yeah but you guys go to Del Taco for hangover food! Just don’t tell him. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:41am

    Semi-ridiculous amount of duck fat, that’s music to my ears.
    Can I move in with you two?

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:42am

    You can’t!

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:43am

    Bacon grease is a very good gateway drug for real lard.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:43am

    Ha. I think I see the tide changing though, no?

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:45am

    You are making me hungry. I might need to make pad prik khing moo grob this weekend.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:45am

    Jeffrey Steingarten wrote a great article about brown butter in this issue of Vogue. Have you seen it yet?
    Heaven indeed!

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:48am

    We made a roast for Easter this year and I made yorkshire pudding with the fat from the pan. It was heaven.
    I love that your grandad used to pour lard into his fried bacon. He was a true lard lover!

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:49am

    That’s probably hydrogenated lard too. I’m not sure I like the sound of it either. I think rendering it yourself or buying it from someone who does it naturally is the thing to do.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:50am

    Hmm, if you don’t eat meat you might not like lard. It’s quite porky, or at least the way I do it it is.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:51am

    I love that shop. They have the most amazing collection of unusual and rare cookbooks. I wish they were a block from me too.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:52am

    Frankly all the instructions I’ve seen sound way toooo complicated. At home in Thailand we just buy pork fat, cut it up into tiny bits, put them in a wok and heat them up slowly until they give up all the fat. Then you get crisp, golden bits of fat to munch on as well. Yum.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:54am

    I bought a tub of crisco years ago for a recipe. I didn’t like it at all, and totally forgot about it until I came upon it this last weekend. It looked pristine, exactly like it did when I bought it. That’s scary.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:57am

    There are plenty of lard-rendering instructions online. But the way I do it is very simple. At home in Thailand we just buy pork fat (or skin-on pork belly from Chinese markets), cut it up into tiny bits, put them in a wok and heat them up slowly until they give up all the fat. Then you get crisp, golden bits of fat to munch on as well. Yum. That’s how I do it here too.

  • Pim said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:57am


  • Nanette said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 10:40am

    studies in the science of fat have shown that not only should we be consuming more good fats but that the best fats for you are Lard,butter,and coconut oil imagine that.
    Oh and don’t forget the good old avocado as one of your best fat sources

  • Fuji Mama said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 10:46am

    Ha, ha, ha, so true!

  • said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 2:16pm

    Yuuuuuuuuuuuuum LARD!
    Its the secret ingredient in my mother’s famous fluffy tamales.

  • angi said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 5:31pm

    I usually use olive oil when I cook at home but there are definitely times when I go seek out lard, i.e. when it’s tamale-making Sunday. 🙂 I’ve never tried rendering my own and instead, rely on the refrigerated stuff at La Palma in the Mission (which now that I think about it, I hope it’s rendered in their kitchen and not hydrogenated). I’m totally anti-hydrogenated anything and those giant tubs of hydrogenated lard sitting out at room temperature make me shudder! I’ve heard that Prather Ranch at Ferry Building started selling lard and I’ve been so curious to try it!

  • Jam Sanitchat said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 8:03pm

    I love chicken fat, love the smell of it. But you are right, lard is hard to beat. At Austin Farmers’ Market, Peach Creek Farms sell lard at their pork stand. I see people buy them all the time. We make them in house at the restaurant but haven’t used it in anything but our own dishes. Pad Prik King with crispy pork skin that my mom made, yum.

  • Thomas Meglioranza said:
    June 17th, 2009 at 9:05pm

    I prefer to use butter for most fruit pie crusts, but a lard/butter crust is really nice for apple pies. Also great for frying chicken, and donuts.

  • Cal said:
    June 18th, 2009 at 4:00am

    Reading this has just reminded me that I have a pot of lard sitting in the back of the fridge (uncovered, eek) left over from a roast lamb I did at Easter. (Essentially just the fat from the roast – dripping but without the meaty, jelly bits you get at the bottom of dripping because I used them in the gravy.)
    Any idea how long lard lasts? Will it still be good to use?

  • Nutmeg Nanny said:
    June 18th, 2009 at 9:16am

    I love lard but if I tell anyone I use it in my pastry’s they freak out because they think it’s horrible. It makes great crusts and is really the only way to go.

  • Angry Brit said:
    June 19th, 2009 at 8:11am

    I usually use butter and olive oil on most days, because I like the taste. I use lard in my pastry, because that’s how my mother and my grandmother make theirs- it makes the pastry especially crisp. (Half butter and half lard). I also like to roast potatoes in lard or duck fat.

  • said:
    June 19th, 2009 at 12:29pm

    Looks like you hit the jackpot on this one! My father-in-law’s pastry (came with the recipe for Tortiere) uses half ‘n half lard and butter and it’s incredible. I save all of the assorted fats from bacon,roasts, etc separately in the fridge to use for making savoury biscuits or frying up pancakes and eggs. Also handy when adding flavour to Chili or browning something for the slow cooker!
    Love your blog, Debee

  • Debee said:
    June 19th, 2009 at 12:50pm

    Cont’d from above; Can’t wait to hear what’s next from you.

  • Diane said:
    June 19th, 2009 at 4:11pm

    I like the idea of cooking with lard – and totally agree that the stuff fried in it in Thailand is AWESOME. But I hardly ever cook pork at home. I didn’t grow up eating pork, and just don’t like it all that much compared to other things. Consequently, I don’t have access to freshly-rendered lard. And I’m pretty dubious about buying the commercial stuff. So, no lard for me. I do like chicken fat though – grew up eating gribnes.

  • RG said:
    June 19th, 2009 at 4:46pm

    I save fat from duck, lamb, and some ham. But I threw away about a pound of ham-fat because it’s too much. I’ve been going through cashew and almond butter and eat a lot of salmon, which is the majority of my fat. And a lot of my summer food is raw, or fish in a salad. I think the commenter who thinks lard, coconut, and butter are the best fats for you is on crack. Nowhere have I read that trans-fats are good for you; fish oil first, nuts and avocado next. Distinction between hydrogenated and not? I thought that if it’s solid at room temp, then it’s saturated for sure? I also don’t add fat to cooking eggs; they have plenty of fat in the yolk! Are you sure you’re not hyperthyroid, Pim?

  • Rasa Malaysia said:
    June 19th, 2009 at 6:34pm

    Yep, that what I helped my late mother to do in the kitchen. The crisps were just so sinfully good. We used them to make sambal dried shrimp, too. Perfect.

  • Jimmy-in-Seattle said:
    June 19th, 2009 at 10:33pm

    Pim..Fat Choice: High Quality UNsalted Sweet Butter! Avec Plaisir!!!

  • said:
    June 19th, 2009 at 10:41pm

    Great question! My response, taken from the venerable Homer J. Simpson: “That’s not fair! There ARE no non-delicious fats!”

  • Flowerpower said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 1:40am

    I hate to change the topic, but would like to tell you about one of the most wonderful unexpected “fat” experiences. The head groom, where my daughter rides in Italy,
    is Punjabi and his mother sends him the most amazing buffalo ghee that she makes herself. The buffalo is hers and is grass-fed. If anyone has had the chance to try this kind of ghee,
    they will know what I am talking about.
    Slightly acid, grassy, creamy, rich but light at the same time…… completely unlike any other clarified butter or ghee Ihave ever tried…….Heaven!
    Fortuantely my husband, who produces organic,extra-virgin Tuscan olive oil, refuses to even try it!!! The kids ( real gourmets) and I rejoice and eat this treasure all by ourselves.

  • Alissa said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 2:26am

    wonderful post Pim!! enjoy the comments… :-))
    I grew up on goose grease spread that we do love in germany and it has dried apple bits and onions in them and lots of herbs – it is wodnerful on those cold days…
    Then pork schmalz – fat , lard is used in germany to fry hash browns or to give poultry and meat a nice crisp… heavenly… why would you cut back on this flavor -lol i see no way…..
    In the belgium they use horse or beef lard to fry their famous fries that are out of this world…..
    making nice golden potatoes with a crispy crust need tons of lard – otherwise they don’t taste so nice..
    when i lived in south korea we ate frid pork skin and it was fantastic
    i personally think you can’t go wrong with lard sweetie – what a lovely discussion… i think i have to by a jar of lard.. see you Alissa

  • gayathri said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 5:58am

    Coconut oil – south indian cooking just doesnt taste right without it. We often dont use it much due to health concerns, but fried foods just doesnt taste quite right.

  • foodstylist said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 6:06am

    i grew up in the uk and during that time lard was readily mother used half butter half lard in shortcrust pastry dough.makes for a shorter crust(ie lighter,more crumbly)
    she also used suet-pork fat grated for suet pudding and in sweet mincemeat so i definately grew up with lard!!!
    we weren’t allowed fried food……..

  • lauralulu said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 11:38am

    I can taste the french fries at Brasserie Lipp. A Belge cook I know and love taught me the double dip lard only french fry technique. Once I crossed that line, I could never go back.
    There is a wonderful pork butcher at the Union Square Market in NYC – Violette Hill. They sell the most fantastic organic pig fat that can be rendered. Perfect.
    And if fried correctly, the food creates a pool of water around itself and the oil does not saturate the food. See Harold Mc Gee for a far better description of the fat frying process.
    Everything in moderation!

  • Hsin said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 1:56pm

    Mmmmm … I love so many fats.
    Problem is, I don’t usually find all of them in my middle American supermarket. But I always wondered whether Twinkies and other baked goods that I ate in the 1970s had lard because they seemed to taste better back then. I can’t eat mass-produced baked goods anymore because I just don’t enjoy them now.
    I also love duck fat, in confit, in cassoulet, and to cook brussels sprouts.
    But one fat I can count on finding is fat from bacon, so I always have bacon and bacon fat on hand so I can use it in stews, in soups, in chowder, in beans, in lentils, in various greens, and to make fried eggs. I also wrap bacon around pork loin when I roast it, and love it on burgers and in sandwiches, and in green salads and in potato salads.
    Butter is also easy to find, but it isn’t always easy to find anything besides Land O Lakes or store-brand butter. That’s probably a good thing for me, otherwise I’d eat butter and bread ALL the time.

  • Jill Mack said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 2:51pm

    The Grimes family makes Christmas cut-out cookies with lard in them (I bet David has had them). To this day, my mom still makes them every year and even my vegan sister will indulge!

  • Jen Ludwiczak said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 4:45pm

    As a little girl my mom and grandmother would render lard and save the “cracklings” to eat on bread or toast. We too always had a crock in the fridge and my grandmother swore it was the only thing for pie crust.
    I confess that I have grown to fear lard. I usually use Olive oil for regular cooking and butter for baking. I too have a can of shortening that I bought years ago – still looks the same as when I bought it!

  • Abigail said:
    June 20th, 2009 at 8:49pm

    Dawn at Prairie Pride Farms in Minnesota keeps me supplied with beautifully rendered leaf lard. It’s got a sweet, pure pork fragrance and makes the best biscuits and pie crusts. You can order it online (google them) and it seems to last forever in the fridge or freezer so I order it in large quantities.

  • Anna said:
    June 21st, 2009 at 9:34am

    Living in the Mediterranean, I’d rather use olive oil, generously. I am not afraid of lard, if it is obtained from free-range pigs. Modern CAFO pigs, fed with pellets, produce a lard that is neither good nor healthy, especially if one is cholesterol prone, like me.
    My mother fries in lard the filling of her glorious Christmas chicken (sausages, raisins, pruneaux, pine nuts, dried apricots…), AND it is delicious.

  • kellyb said:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 5:29am

    my vegan exception is lard since i grew up on a wealth of fabulous pennsylvania dutch recipes featuring it. my favorites are potato chips cooked in lard (zerbes or blue goods) and molasses cookies with lard.
    p.s. pim, i’m david’s second cousin so he can tell you about these recipes from the grimes family cookbook.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:25am

    Care to share the recipe? I’d love to try it.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:27am

    If it’s in their fridge it’s probably done fresh in their kitchen. It’s the stuff sitting around the regular shelves that scares me.
    The Fatted Calf people sells lard too.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:27am

    That sounds really good. You’re not the first to mention pad prik king, and now you really got me salivating over it. I might do it this weekend.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:28am

    I’ve never tried lard in pie crust, but I think there’s enough chatter here in the comments about it, you might have just convinced me. Apple pie, yeah? I’ll have to wait until the gravenstein apples are out.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:30am

    If it’s in your fridge it’s probably ok. I’d scrape the top layer out first though. They may have oxidized too much to be any good. After the scrape, give it a sniff test, if it smells ok it’s probably ok.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:30am

    Yes, but the beauty of it is you don’t have to tell them….or do you?

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:31am

    Half butter and half lard pie crust might just be the thing for me to try.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:32am

    Thanks, yes, I think half/half butter/lard might just be the thing to do too.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:33am

    I keep chicken fat to make chicken fat rice, basically steamed rice cooked with chicken fat. You saute the rice with the chicken fat like you would a risotto rice, and then cook the rice with chicken stock and a bit more chicken fat. It’s sooooo goooood.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:39am

    Hmm, I think you got it a bit wrong. Lard, and coconut oil are not necessarily trans-fat. They are saturated fat, yes, but depends on how they are rendered they are not always trans-fat. Butter is never trans-fat at all, it’s margarine that is.
    And, no, I’m not hyperthyroid. I’m actually quite healthy, even though I eat lard, butter, and whole fat milk and yogurt (gasp!). I eat a balanced diet, nothing sugar free, fat free, or low fat. I simply don’t overeat.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:40am

    for me, c’est demi sale!

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:41am

    Who am I to argue with The Great And The Wise Homer Simpson.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:42am

    This isn’t a change of topic at all. You so on topic you got me salivating.
    I’ve never tried buffalo fat, but I once made french fries in horse fat and they turned out fabulously.
    Your groomer don’t come to the US often, does he? I’d so pay him to smuggle some in!

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:48am

    Yes to all of the above.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:49am

    Is coconut oil bad for you? I guess if it’s hydrogenated it might, but otherwise it’s probably ok, no?

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:50am

    Suet pudding and sweet mincemeat, now that’s something i want for breakfast right now. You should make some and share the recipe and photos!

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:51am

    Everything in moderation, even moderation, yes!

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:52am

    Bacon fat is a god sent. I always fry eggs after I fry bacon. The eggs usually don’t even need salt, the bacon fat has enough flavor.
    You can always find good cream and make butter yourself, no?

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:53am

    Is the recipe in the family cookbook? I think Alice Ann made some sugar cookies for the last reunion. I’ll have to ask if she did them with lard.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:55am

    Olive oil and butter are perfectly good and tasty fat to use. They are what I use most in my kitchen as well. The shortening I have from years ago look the same as when I bought it too. I think we should both dump it, deal?

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:56am

    I might have to try it.
    Is this the farm?

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:57am

    You should make your mother’s recipe this christmas and blog about it. Be sure to tell me so I can go check it out. It sounds divine.

  • Pim said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:58am

    Two of David’s cousins commenting on my blog post on lard. Why am I not surprised! LOL.
    I’ve become a devotee of Goods potato chips too. We did a side-by-side tasting with the Zerbes when I was visiting last year, and the Goods won big for me.

  • Italian Rocket said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 4:36pm

    Lard is awesome, and until it actually has an affect on my weight, I’ll continue to use it.

  • Scott Kohler said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 11:15pm

    I have just begun using lard in my cooking. I was inspired by my grandmother’s Faschtnacht (lard doughnut) recipe that I made this year. She told me they are best fried in lard, but I didn’t have enough. I did make the dough with it, though.
    I have also tried it in pie crust and empanada dough. A bit of a challenge in both, but worth it.

  • Scott Kohler said:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 11:17pm

    I, too grew up with PA Dutch recipes.
    Do you know Faschtnachts? I put a post below.

  • Lisa said:
    June 26th, 2009 at 7:49am

    Thank you for this. I agree that the other instructions for how to render pork fat I’ve seen online seem so complicated! Your way sounds nice, and I am going to try it.
    I can get pork fat from the farmer I buy meat from. I have to confess that I got a ten-pound package of it once (that was the smallest amount he could give me), and I was completely overwhelmed and ended up not even trying to render it! Silly me. Next time I won’t be afraid, especially with your easy-sounding method.
    I think it’s becoming common knowledge now that fats like lard and butter are better for you than hydrogenated fats like margarine (blech!). So ironic that for years we’ve been told to stay away from those fats, to avoid heart disease, and now it turns out that the fake-y fats are far more dangerous.

  • Aunt Jenny said:
    June 27th, 2009 at 5:13am

    I make the best biscuits on the planet (that’s not bragging; it’s a scientifically-verifiable fact), and the magic ratio is half butter/half lard (preferably home-rendered leaf lard). Same is true for the best pie crust.
    And when I fry chicken, I use a combination of lard, chicken fat, and a bit of bacon grease for a touch of background smokiness.
    Say what you will about his annoying TV audiences, but Emeril is absolutely right when he says PORK FAT RULES!

  • Annette said:
    June 27th, 2009 at 6:19am

    Oh, I will do for sure! I will blog the recipe and tell you. Thank you very much for your beautiful stories about food and life. I follow your blog since the oven dried tomato post. I did them last summer and they were delicious.

  • Michelle Woo said:
    June 30th, 2009 at 12:09am

    I just gave me son the deep fried pork fat bits mixed with rice.. oops am i gonna get lynched by the health conscious now? but its SOOOO sinfully good!

  • Moonbeam said:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 8:30am

    I’m afraid of lard, but evevn more afraid of other fakey stuff like crisco. I generally use olive oil for everything because it has health benefits. Otherwise, I try to avoid oily fats like the plague (not always successfully – hello bacon) because more and more studies seem to show that oil is a fast track to the grave, or worse, the hospital. I guess moderation is the key. Some lard is delicious and probably not poisonous like modern chemical crap, but I try to limit it severely so I focus on veggies and whole grains. Lofty goals!

  • bionicgrrrl said:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 12:48am

    I love lard! At Del Posto they bring you a little plate of lardo with the bread and it’s absolutely heavenly. I’d eat lard more often if it weren’t for those pesky calories. Really Pim, how do you stay so thin? One day, I’d love a post about what you eat in a regular week.

  • Sweetpea said:
    July 5th, 2009 at 2:58am

    omg, it just recalled my childhood memories with lard…grandma always would render down pork fat, and you get two amazing goodness-lard and the flavorful crispy bits left behind as a by-product=) it’s a perfect bite size snack. And the lard–a little nob of it would make a bowl of homemade wanton soup out of the world. I miss those old days being a little girl who didn’t even know to appreciate the great food made with love by her granps.

  • marcela said:
    July 6th, 2009 at 12:29pm

    We fry lobster in it Baja and there’s no better way to eat it. Wrapped in a warm flour tortilla drizzled with clarified butter with sides of Red mexican Rice and Frijoles de la Olla (Stewed Beans). Nothing more Baja than that! And tamales, that’s the secret to their fluffy texture. My aunt used to make mini Huitlacoche tamales, a black corn fungus considered a delicacy in Mexico. Positively delish! Viva la Manteca de cerdo…(long live lard)!! Besos, marcela

  • Splat said:
    July 12th, 2009 at 11:59am

    The picture is a spoof ad which appeared in Newcastle’s Viz comic ( about 20 years ago.

  • ana said:
    July 13th, 2009 at 3:15pm

    in Poland home-made lard is very popular, we add fried onion into it; good bread, lard and pickled cucumber – it`s a great combination of tastes

  • Forager said:
    July 13th, 2009 at 10:56pm

    We just had a Hunan-style meal that included deep fried then stir fried strips of lard. So very very fragrant and tasty – but so bad for you, so rich and oily that one of my friends ended up getting violently sick from excessive oilyness. As tasty as it was I think we’ll be avoiding eating that much lard again.

  • Wedding Girl said:
    July 14th, 2009 at 10:40am

    Me an my girlfriend were joking the other day about how much we liked lard. It is wonderful but terrible for you.

  • gabrielaskitchen said:
    July 15th, 2009 at 12:39pm

    I’m all about the lard! Look out for my New Mexican Christmas cookie recipe (Biscochitos) in December and you’ll see how I make non-vegetarian cookies! Yup. You didn’t mis-read they’re not only just not vegan but have lard in them. That’s why they melt in your mouth!
    I love lard. Its beautiful white color. Its silky texture. Its subtle smell. They way it crisps a fried egg just right.

  • Carol Peterman said:
    July 17th, 2009 at 8:02pm

    I just saw that same Lard advertisement reprinted someplace last week, but I can’t remember where it was. I started rendering my own lard a couple of years ago and my pie crusts have never been so good! I just started reading Jennifer McLagan’s book, Fat, an Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes. Her dedication sums it up perfectly, “For all the Jack Sprats out there–you’re wrong!”

  • Angie Mosier said:
    July 30th, 2009 at 7:45am

    Lard is the best fat to use in pie crusts and biscuits. Love this poster and love that the Southern Foodways Alliance book “Cornbread Nation” is on the shelf behind it. No doubt there are stories of lard in there.

  • Everything in Moderation said:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 7:06am

    Found your site looking up Pad Thai recipes, yours is awesome by the way, and saw this post. I would like to recommend to your attention the advocacy/cook book Fat:A Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes ( ). Phenomenal. And stay away from hydrogenated products!

  • Kay said:
    August 4th, 2009 at 8:51am

    when my family and I went back to thailand last summer we stayed with my grandmother (paternal), and one night she cooked us omelette. It was SO heavenly, so much better than any omelette I’ve ever tasted (sorry mum!). She later told us the reason it tasted that good is that she fried it in lard. My mum was horrified! My grandma’s logic is that vegetable oil leaves these horrible looking residues in the container, so it mustn’t be very good for your insides, while mum subscribed to another school of thought…the one that says all saturated fat is bad, etc.
    Now there are growing bodies saying that saturated fats and tropical oils aren’t as bad as they are made out to be, and refined vegetable oils aren’t nutritional heroes they’re made out to be either, I feel that my grandmother is right after all.
    But mum still cooks my most loved comfort foods: palo (I only like palo the way she makes it, no one elses’) and kaeng som…with watermelon rind cooked in. awesome!

  • Adelina said:
    August 24th, 2009 at 9:34am

    I remember years ago my mother used to cook with lard. It wasn’t always included in every dish she made but she did use it. I can’t remember how foods cooked with lard taste like, but I’m sure it is quite good! To be honest, I’m afraid of lard in my daily cooking but honestly, I wouldn’t totally rule it out entirely. After all, I enjoy foods and I do know by now, there are some foods that do taste better cooking with lard, I think!
    Like the other viewer, I also recently notice a few recipes included lard to make the dough, I will probably try that soon!
    I love your web site by the way! Very informative and fun to read! Thanks for posting and for sharing!

  • said:
    October 10th, 2009 at 4:23pm

    I am not sure how to keep lard. In the refridgerator? How long will it stay good? Is lard only from pork or can it be chicken or beef as well? Mike

  • Stayseasuz said:
    October 23rd, 2009 at 3:00am

    There’s a great cookbook out called, “Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes”, by Jennifer McLagan. I love roasting vegetables in duck or goose fat, which I can find easily here in England. It’s also easy to get pork dripping- very tasty, and beef lard. My fridge is filled with fats of all kind! But, in my defense, in order to balance our omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, we really need to eat more natural dairy and meat fat from grass-fed animals. So, buy those omega 3 eggs, and organic when you can!

  • Jan Anderson said:
    October 24th, 2009 at 7:34pm

    My grandfather was a butcher in a little Montana town. People complained of the smell on lard-rendering day, so he had my grandmother make raised doughnuts fried in the lard. They sold for 10 cents/dozen. People stopped complaining!

  • tiffanyfree said:
    January 23rd, 2010 at 12:19am

    I think that these mushrooms would be a great addition to my mushroom collection.

  • Ana said:
    March 20th, 2011 at 2:06am

    Hello Chez. My name is Ana I live in Brasil and this is the first time I see your page. I love eat and I like very much lard.

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