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Sunday, 6 June 2010

In Praise of Lard

The more I know of Jeffrey Tucker, the more I like him, (this despite his kinda sorta Thom Browne sartorial aesthetic, though I love the bow ties.)

I have not had the opportunity to try every use he here prescribes for the glory that is rendered pig fat, (and a few I think are best entrusted to its cousin, the similarly disdained, and similarly sublime bacon grease,) but I like the way he thinks.
(And I am craving some real biscuits just blogging about this...)
The use of lard in cooking is slowly being rehabilitated but the cultural shock of the stuff hasn’t diminished in the slightest....
I use lard for making biscuits. Sometimes I fry those lard biscuits in lard, and these I call "hot puffs" and eat them with honey. Lard is essential for pie crusts. It makes great chocolate chip cookies. I can’t imagine frying potatoes in anything else. It is excellent for chicken. Pancakes and waffles are never better than when made with lard. Popcorn not fried in lard (air pop? please!) is noticeably inferior. Cakes are wonderful with lard. The refried beans you eat are not authentic if they do not include lard. All that amounts to nearly a bucket per week of lard use. I admit it.

... Look, I really don’t know if lard is unhealthy as compared with vegetable oil or butter or peanut oil or some other poor substitute. I do know that when I fry with lard as opposed to vegetable oil, there is more lard remaining in the fryer, from which I conclude that less is in the food...I also know that lard has a very high smoke point, so it is cleaner and makes less of a mess. Also, lard, which is nothing but rendered pig fat, has been a staple of the Western diet for many centuries. I see no reason why I must automatically adopt the widespread prejudice against it and regard it as a poor-person food


(Is that biscuit sticking its tongue out at me? Have I stumbled on an image of one of those "saint miraculously appears in foodstuff" moment? And which saint?)

1 comment:

Charles said...

That biscuit,G, is a reptillian gargoyle slithering up to the lip of your breakfast plate. You can hear its internal hiss of a voice enticing, "Consume me, and ye shall be like unto a god."

Cut to image of Bhudda, a rolypoly Bhudda, kinda like me.