Lard – the New Healthy Fat By Tim Mar Funny, it’s all the rage. What every farm has known for centuries; Lard is good and makes you feel good, too.
“A long time ago, in a kitchen memory far, far away …”
It is a period of civil unrest.
The Empire and its spaceships are striking from behind a wall of media, having won their first victory against the evil transfat. During the next attack, Chef’s sous’ have managed to steal across enemy lines, dodging the salt-free zone by riding on a mysterious hairy hog, which has enough taste to change an entire planet. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister Doctors, Princess Lesa races home aboard her hog, custodian of the lard that can save her pie and restore freedom to the kitchen.
When I was growing up, my friends and I used to compare apple pies. Back then, in New England, it seemed that there were apple orchards scattered all over the place. We would debate over which orchard had the best pickings, and which variety of apples made the best pies. And, in the end, the outcome always came down to the crust. The apples were a great addition, but it was the crust that made the pie. Now, it wasn’t like we made the pies ourselves, mind you. It was our moms or our grandmothers who made the pies that we took to bragging about. Since my high school serviced two towns together, a bit of a natural rivalry was always present. In my small circle of friends from my hometown, those that had tried my mom’s pie said it was the best. From the other town, everyone said that Peg’s grandmother’s pie was surely better.
So, it came down to sharing and trying … an apple pie throwdown, as it were; scheduled for high noon in the lunchroom. I begged my mom to make a pie and, like all unreasonable requests from teenage children, it is often more painful to say “no” than to do what is asked. So, an apple pie I got.
The big day came and lunchtime arrived. We stole into an empty classroom and I proudly produced my mom’s amazing apple pie. Peg, on the other hand, wimped out (…figures!) and brought nothing. But just the same, everyone had a piece, and Peg even admitted that my mom’s pie was the best.
Peg, if you’re reading, I will put my pie against your pie any day, because I now have the secret ingredient…
There is much chewing over the fat, these days. Which lard is best and where on the pig the lard comes from, are just two of the questions that we debate. Leaf lard, from the kidney and loin area of the pig, is traditionally believed to be the best because it is the purest with little or no “meat” to interfere in the rendering process. However, from what we have tasted and tried, when it come to a Mangalitsa, the variety of the pig seems to be more important than where on the pig the lard comes from. The lard from the pig known as The Mangalitsa is not only full of flavor, smooth and silky, always dissolving into a miracle-flavored “drug” whenever you bake or cook with it, but there is little “meat” to deal no matter where on the pig the fat comes from. So, “Mangalista Leaf Lard” seems redundant.
At first you may say, “I can’t taste it, no piggy here.” But, then you realize that the light and flaky feel of the crust must be a result of this fabulous fat.
Keywords: Lard, Mangalitsa, apple pie, recipe, pie ccrust, Chef, Lesa, Sullivan, Star Wars, healthy fat, fats, leaf lard