Leaf Lard vs Crisco

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Jimeats
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2006/03/10 09:54:21 (permalink)

Leaf Lard vs Crisco

I do love to bake and I love my fried chicken. After doing a little research I found out that leaf lard is so much better health wise as cooking lipid of choice. Trying to find it is an entirely another matter. The best I could come up with is buying the fat from a local slaughter house at $1.00 a pound and render it down myself. My question is how much would 20lbs of raw product yeild in actual lard? I found only one source on the net that offers it for $25.00 for just 1.5 lbs. seemed like a lot of money to me. After reading about Crisco they should have a scull and crossbones on their lable. I use to use Crisco to make pie crust, and the lard that Armor produces is just as bad. I don't plan on giving up my indulgences but I'm looking for safer alternitaves.
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    Bushie
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2006/03/10 11:21:07 (permalink)
    I found this discussion thread on eGullet:

    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=83499&st=0

    One of the posters said that these people are real easy to do business with:

    http://www.mountainfolk.com/dietrich.asp
    #2
    Jimeats
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2006/03/10 12:33:20 (permalink)
    Thanks Bushie, I'm going to have to get a bigger refrigerator. Chow Jim
    #3
    roossy90
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2006/03/10 14:23:18 (permalink)
    That mountain folk web site Moo'ed at me!
    #4
    BT
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2006/03/10 19:37:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    I do love to bake and I love my fried chicken. After doing a little research I found out that leaf lard is so much better health wise as cooking lipid of choice. Trying to find it is an entirely another matter. The best I could come up with is buying the fat from a local slaughter house at $1.00 a pound and render it down myself. My question is how much would 20lbs of raw product yeild in actual lard? I found only one source on the net that offers it for $25.00 for just 1.5 lbs. seemed like a lot of money to me. After reading about Crisco they should have a scull and crossbones on their lable. I use to use Crisco to make pie crust and the lard that Armor produces is just as bad. I don't plan on giving up my indulgences but I'm looking for safer alternitaves.


    I use lard primarily for refried beans and a few other Mexican dishes because they don't taste right using other fats. And here in Southern AZ where there are many Mexican cooks, even the supermarkets carry bulk lard (bought some last week at Safeway). And if yours don't but you have a Mexican market available, you might check there.

    While I can't challenge an argument that your fried chicken tastes better cooked in lard, I can and will challenge the contention that it's "so much better health wise as cooking lipid of choice" and I say if that's your reason for using it you need to do a little more research.

    I have to admit that over the years there's been a good deal of back and forth on the matter of what fats are bad or good for you, but the main confusion has been over transfats--vegetable fats that have been artificially hydrogenated (had extra hydrogen atoms added to their molecular structre). Unlike naturally saturated fats such as lard, most of which come from animal sources, vegetable oils are not hard at room temperature and in order to make them hard, and thus make them more resemble traditional animal fats like butter, they have been hydrogenated (or converted into "transfats).

    For a long time it was not recognized that this ruins their healthfullness and makes them probably less healthy than the naturally saturated (or hydrogentated) animal fats like lard. But the fact that artifically hydrogentated fats and products containing them like most margarines may be less healthy than lard doesn't mean that vegetable oils that have NOT been artificially hydrogenated and remain in their natural liquid state are not much healthier than lard and other saturated fats. They are. These liquid vegetable oils contain poly and mono-unsaturated fats and the latter is probably actually good for you (as opposed to just not being bad or being less bad).

    What this means is that if you want to maximize the healthfulness of your chicken (as opposed to maximizing its taste), cook it in a nut oil such as peanut oil which many people consider to have the best combination of healthfulness and high smoke point (ability to be heated to high temps without breaking down). Or, if you don't like the taste of peanut oil, good alternatives (some of which are even more healthy) are canola oil, corn oil and mixed vegetable oils such as those sold by Wesson and Crisco.

    See: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats.html
    #5
    Jimeats
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 08:46:54 (permalink)
    It's that time of year, and I'm almost out of leaf lard for baking.
    The upcomming months are prime time for this project. Hogs are being taken and it's still fairly warm enough to be able to render down the leaf fat.
    I have learned this is better off done outdoors unless you want the house smelling like pork for a week or so. Also a great way to season some cast iron in the process. Chow Jim
    #6
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 10:24:54 (permalink)
    BT:

    Everything that you wrote is pretty much true, but liquid fats don't cut it for pie crusts, I believe. I've wondered myself whether unadulterated lard might not be better than Crisco-type hydrogenated vegetable oil "shortening".
    #7
    WarToad
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 10:31:53 (permalink)
    I'm a big fan of peanut oil for frying due to it's high smoke temp, and it doesn't impart any peanut flavor to the food. I'd say I'm a 50/50 peanut/olive oil user. On the rare occasion I need a solid fat for baking, I use crisco, but I rarely bake. No sweet tooth. I have a salt tooth.
    #8
    brittneal
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 10:43:25 (permalink)
    Thers nothing that gives a lighter or flakier crust than leaf lard. Its not an easy find and very high priced if you do find it Back in the 60's when i helped my granmother w/ her catering bussiness. She was a great baker having trained in the fine CHICAGO HOTELS BEFORE THE DEPRESSION. HAVING LEARNED HER CRAFT SHE WENT IT ALONE AND NEVER LOOKED BACK.
    BRITT
    #9
    DawnT
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 16:09:16 (permalink)
    Lard WAS the only fat used for frying in large amounts when I was a kid. Butter or bacon drippings were used in small amounts, but one of the prizes was the lard that packed with chorizo sausage. It was a bright,orange colored, flavored lard that was used in just about everything that was sauted. Something that's lost to the past was taking lard and heating it with annatto seeds. The seeds would release a red color that the lard took up. The lard was strained to remove the seeds. This colored lard was used in the preperation of some meats to give them a reddish color, but really didn't contribute much to the taste. Lard is making a come back around here. First was small blocks, now you can buy it in crisco sized cans like you could 35 years ago. Does anyone remember using the annatto/achiote to color the lard ?

    #10
    seafarer john
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 17:22:34 (permalink)
    Margarine used to come from the store white with a little packet of yellow coloring that you broke by kneading the package and then had something that looked something like butter.

    Around the Holidays when we cook a big standing rib roast we always have a container ofdrained off beef fat. I like to fry potatoes and eggs in that fat - great flavor. How does beef fat compare with others healthwise?


    Cheers, John
    #11
    Cakes
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 17:30:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by seafarer john

    Margarine used to come from the store white with a little packet of yellow coloring that you broke by kneading the package and then had something that looked something like butter.

    Around the Holidays when we cook a big standing rib roast we always have a container ofdrained off beef fat. I like to fry potatoes and eggs in that fat - great flavor. How does beef fat compare with others healthwise?


    Cheers, John

    Only in states that had a strong dairy lobby. We lived in Iowa and had a lot of relatives in Minnesota, and they would have us bring colored margarine up when we visited, by the case.

    Cakes

    #12
    DawnT
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 18:16:08 (permalink)
    I thought of something after reading the last posts. I remember as a kid (early 60's) that when you went to some restaurants, they had a very prominent sign as you entered notifying you that "We Use Margarine". Some of the old stores back then kept the margerine and butter products separated or in a separate isle-end cooler. I don't know if these were acutal restrictions imposed by law, or if they were a holdover from days past. I also remember that some of the oleo products were not packaged in stick form like butter. These were flat rounds and about an inch thick and wrapped. Lots of older folks refused to eat the stuff and had all sorts of claims that it was bad for you. These were the same folks that used vegetable shortening such as crisco or snowdrift without giving it a second thought.
    #13
    ann peeples
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/11 18:31:34 (permalink)
    Margarine was first invented to fatten turkeys-they refused to eat it;So they sold it to us stupid consumers in Wisconsin.Had to travel to Illinois to get the lard/mixed with food coloring.Put a stick of margarine out on your patio here, and the bugs WILL NOT eat it....
    #14
    MikeS.
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/12 00:11:06 (permalink)
    What is leaf lard and how does it differ from the Armour stuff sold as lard?
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    brittneal
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/12 00:27:07 (permalink)
    Leaf lard is the fat that s around the kidneys. its lite, delicate and very flavorful. the good stuff comes off in sheets. you would only use this for very special baking, never for cooking or frying. To me I would use regular lard every chance I could for all purpose cooking. The flavor makes all the difference in the world. After lard any cooking oil, canolla, veg, or corn are just flat and tasteless. I remember having to make a Vegan refried beans at Goodfriends in Denver. lynne wanted most of the mex dishes to be vegan friendly. The fist time i made them after I added the necessary veg oil it was like eating paper! I added more broth from the bean pot. Seasonoings etc, no go!. I had one customer beg for beans made with lard. It was nite and day!. From then on we did both.
    britt
    #16
    007bond-jb
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/12 10:34:15 (permalink)
    Types of Cooking Fats and Oils - Descriptions and Uses - Smoking Points
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Information/CookingOilTypes.htm
    #17
    MikeS.
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    RE: Leaf Lard vs Crisco 2008/09/14 03:56:21 (permalink)
    Thanks Britt.
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