Friday, March 2, 2012

Lard is coming back

Pinto bean ketchup curry
Food Diary (March 02, 2012)
Breakfast: Sourdough toast
Lunch: Pinto bean ketchup curry with rice
Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese
Baking/sweets: Chocolates

There was an unusual scene in the supermarket today. A guy was holding a McDonalds tray, eating burgers and fries, with sauce all over the tray and on his clothes. Somehow he managed to walk out of McDonalds and into the supermarket with the tray. He didn’t seem to notice anyone, he probably didn't know where he was, and no one did anything about it. He was probably under the influence, or has mental issues. The McDonalds next to the supermarket is quite nice, very well designed with lots of comforable seating. Eating there would be far more comfortable than standing in a relatively busy supermarket. I wonder what drove him away from McD's? Maybe he didn't want to be seen there? Or maybe he wanted to eat his food, surrounded by food. He was standing by the candy section. 

Today's Favourite Photo
Source: Camemberu
Skyve Seared Beef Tartare





Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Gourmet
It looks like lard is coming back in fashion. I think in some parts of the world it never really got out of fashion. Those parts of the world were lucky enough to be sheltered from margarine. Some years ago I was having dinner at a friend's friends brewpub in Germany. A platter arrived with ‘white stuff’. I ate it only to find out later it was fat (from duck I think). I was disgusted. At that time I had a negative image of lard. Times are changing. Not so long ago, for the first time, I saw lard sitting alongside butter and margarine in the supermarket. 

Lards fat is mostly monounsaturated, like olive oil’s. And it produces superior pie crusts, crispier fried chicken, and crunchier cookies than vegetable shortenings like Crisco.

There are different kinds of lards. What’s sold in supermarkets, often labeled with the Spanish name, manteca, is almost as bad as shortening was before the trans fats were eliminated, because it’s been processed in the same way—hydrogenated so that it will stay solid at room temperature and need no refrigeration. The real deal can be found mostly at farmers’ markets or some butcher shops, especially by special order. Or you can make it at home. 

Leaf lard, from the fat around the pig’s kidneys, is the best, especially for baking.

20 comments:

  1. Hmmm maybe he was thinking what he would eat next for dessert! ;-)

    I didn't know that there are differnet kinds of lards!

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    1. Hahaha, thats probably correct. And I guess under certain influences sweets come in handy

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  2. Ooh, the beef tartare looks pretty delicious.

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  3. I have some leaf lard in the freezer...it's about 1 1/2 years old, so I should really make another pie with it. You're right, the crust was amazing! Have a great weekend~

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    1. I've never seen leaf lard, good that you found some and used it too

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  4. Lard is very popular here, especially with bakers. You can get flavored lard here as well, although it still tastes like lard to me.

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    1. Flavoured lard? Thats a step too far, or maybe not

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  5. The beef looks great. Strange fellow you ran into, kind of weird the supermarket manager didn't move him along.
    I've never cooked with lard, interesting about the different kinds.

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    1. Supermarket manager was probably day dreaming to not notice

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  6. Lard is probably yummy. I just tried European butter and it blew my mind. The color, was... actually yellow! as opposed to the normal pale off-white shade of American butter. If European butter tastes better than butter, then lard probably tastes even better than European butter. I hope my logic makes sense?

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    1. The butter is quite yellow, I thought thats how it was meant to be. Next time I am in the US I will definitely look for local butter. I don't quite follow that logic 100%. But I get the feeling you are a fan of lard which is good.

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  7. That's true, lard makes a better pastry. Mooncake pastry can't be made right without it. The commercial non-lard ones are terrible! And this is part of the world where it never went out of fashion. I've never used it too often tho.

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    1. You part of the world was smart - didn't get influenced by the mad scientists and margarine companies. Products coming and going out of fashion affects production/sales systems

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    2. Oh no, we have our share of margarine mania too! There's a big part of society here who still believes that margarine is better than butter. Lard is less popular here due to religious no-no but it's around for the folks who want it.

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    3. Aha, true, I forgot about the religious aspect.
      Damn margarine companies. In a way they are good, they help keep butter prices down:)

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  8. Pork fat is also fantastic when frying doughnuts. I am still plannind to make my grandmother's cake with fat instead of butter. I have never managed to make an equally good with butter...
    Hungarian lard covered by a thick layer of chili in powder and kept for several weeks is simply addictive. In Poland pork fat with small pork cracklings and spices is sometimes also served in pubs or traditional restaurants. If well made, well salted, it's heavenly good. I also think there is something called "salo" in Ukraine, but I have never head about it.
    Anyway, I'm sure pork lard is better than hydrogenated fats.
    I always have some duck fat and whenever I fry potatoes it's gives them unique taste.

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    1. Donuts fried in pork fat sounds 'interesting', it would be quite crispy. Some people may say this is unhealthy but then they shouldn't be eating fried donuts:)
      I remember you mentioning your grandmothers cake - will wait for the recipe.
      I haven't tried the Hungarian and Polish delicacies. I may have tried salo, can't remember. Italy also has something similar to salo.
      The best fries I ever had were fried in duck fat (or goose fat) - unbelievably good

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  9. Sorry for the strange mistake, I meant: I have never tasted the Ukrainian salo (I think it's seasoned lard cut into thin slices)

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    1. If I remember correctly its cured fat

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