On Saturday, we finally came to possess a substance of awesome power: lard.
Yes, you read that right. Pure lard.
Yoli had been studying up on lard for a while, since she was dissatisfied with some of the nutrition/health aspects of butter. With all the baking she does, we consume a fair amount of butter. (Plus butter and milk are expensive now)
It’s hard to fathom, but it turns out that lard is coming back en vogue. I always thought lard was terrible for you. It comes from pigs, after all. Turns out that pure lard has less saturated fat than butter, and more monounsaturated (“good”) fat.
Lard’s case is also helped by the fact that it is awesome for baking. Flakier crusts, here we come. I understand that it is also the best fat for frying chicken and french fries and the like.
We bought our first 10 pounds of lard from a farmer at the Ferguson Farmer’s Market. This is not an item that is typically available there, but farmers will bring it along if you ask. One big advantage of this is that most of these farmers have it rendered naturally, without any hydrogenation or anything.
This morning Yoli made some scones with lard. She asked me if they tasted any different. I thought I detected some subtle flavor, but I wasn’t really sure. After a few bites, it didn’t matter. The scones were very good, as good as any others she’d ever baked.
She’ll really put the lard through it’s paces on Tuesday when she bakes an apple pie.
Here’s some really good lard articles:
- Lard: The New Health Food? (Food & Wine)
- High on the Hog (New York Times)
- It’s back to lard for old-time pies (The Boston Globe)
- Praise the lard (TheNewsTribune.com)
- Rendering Lard 2.0 (obsessionwithfood.com)