Cooking: Leaf Lard…Did You Know?

Being a clueless city boy re rural life, I had never heard of ‘leaf lard’. Years ago, I recall a muggy, humid Summer visiting in Wisconsin as my grandmother rendered lard. It seemed to be a putrid operation. Years later, I had occasion to visit a ‘rendering plant’ and found myself wanting to…well never mind. In other words, I really know nothing about lard except it is supposedly unhealthy and a thing of the past.

So, I took the above photo of the old can in an old cabin. Then I noticed leaf lard on the can. That resulted in a little home work and for you city slickers and cooking/foodies here is a little information that might interest you.  

“Today, most Americans would sooner smoke unfiltered Camels while riding a motorcycle without a helmet than eat lard.” (more about lard)

“Leaf lard is the highest grade of lard (lard is pork fat, the term is usually used to refer to rendered pork fat suitable for cooking). It comes from the visceralmdash;or “soft”—fat from around the kidneys and loin of the pig. It lacks any real pork or meaty flavor, making it an excellent neutral-flavored cooking fat with a high smoking point. Leaf lard is particularly prized by bakers for use in producing moist, flaky pie crusts.”   (Baking With Leaf Lard)

7 Responses to “Cooking: Leaf Lard…Did You Know?”

  1. October 21, 2012 at 20:49

    Have to admit I use lard when I have it….but I don’t post it in my recipes cause no one seems to want to use it. Lard for pie crust, tamales and tortillas is the only way to go.

  2. October 21, 2012 at 14:21

    My grandmother and mother said that only lard could make a pie great! I believed them and now have the proof!!!

  3. October 20, 2012 at 17:14

    We live about 2 hours away from the large Amish community in Holmes County, OH, and the Amish do not use “shortening” when baking. What makes their baked goods amazing is that they bake with lard. Having never heard of “Leaf Lard” before you mentioned it, I had to go looking: You can still buy it: https://www.prairiepridepork.com/products/index.php?catid=20&utm_content=Ad-2-Already_09-2011&gclid=CIiggI3okLMCFYpFMgodqVkAPw
    John R.: http://thedailygraff.com/

  4. October 20, 2012 at 17:07

    I have heard several chefs say on tv that they would rather use animal fat to cook than a fake product. They say you can use less which, in turn, makes for a “healthier” alternative. I never really looked into to it. I’m just taking the word of t.v….which is always reliable, as we know.

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