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Cooking With Lard for Old-fashioned Taste

| 1/19/2010 11:09:04 AM

Jean TellerOne doesn’t usually think of the Industrial Revolution affecting food. In the case of lard vs. vegetable shortening, it definitely did affect the outcome.

Lard, until the Industrial Revolution, was the fat of choice, used in place of butter in many homes. Rendered from pig fat, lard was an important factor in cooking and baking, resulting in light, flaky pie crusts and delectable cookies and pastries.

Apple pie with gorgeous flaky crust.

Many people, in fact, still consider lard a key ingredient in such items as pasties, those Cornish meat pies that are popular in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan.

Cornish pasty crust is traditionally made with lard.

By the way, lard comes from pigs. Suet and tallow are the terms used for rendered fat from cattle and sheep.

9/12/2010 3:38:53 PM

My Grandma told me that the best pies need two special ingredients... lard and a wood cookstove.

Lesa Jennings_1
4/15/2010 10:01:26 AM

My dad and grandfather always butchered hogs growing up. I can remember loving the "Cracklins". Years ago we had the scalding tanks and cookers and cooked the lard down outside. In later years, dad had an old pressure cooker (the pan was really thick) that he would use to cook the lard down and would do it on the stove. I remember he had to be extremely careful that it didn't burn and that it didn't boil over.

Anna Housholder_7
2/12/2010 9:42:00 PM

Hi! I just had to tell about my experience growing up with some good food made with lard. I was the oldest of seven kids. My dad had a widowed sister who lived on a farm in southern Minnesota. She and her oldest daughter raised pigs for a living, this was at least forty years ago. She would want my dad to come over at times to butcher a pig for her. So as a family we would go and spend the day there. She would render down the fat into tubs of lard. She would use the lard in everything she baked. I remember her pies and bread. Oh, yes, especially her bread it was like melt in your mouth goodness. She won blue ribbons for bread and pies at the county fair.

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