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    What Is Lard?

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    Revealer
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    What Is Lard?

    Post by Revealer on August 21st 2012, 6:17 am

    What Is Lard?

    Lard is the rendered fat of a pig, and it can be used in cooking and baking. Historically, it has been a popular cooking ingredient, although it acquired a stigma in parts of the West in the 20th century. In some countries, rendered fat can be difficult to obtain, because consumers perceive it as being more unhealthy than butter or vegetable shortening.

    In stores, it can sometimes be found in the Hispanic ingredients section, labeled Manteca, the Spanish word for lard. Be careful, however, as some Latin American Spanish speakers use manteca to refer to butter, or a butter and fat mixture. Lard can also be made at home, an increasingly popular option for consumers who want it fresh.

    There are several grades available. The finest is leaf lard, which comes from the area around the kidneys of the pig. Back lard is another high grade, while rendered fat from other parts of the pig is less desirable. To make it, either a wet or dry rendering process is used. Wet lard is made by steaming or boiling fat. Since the fat is not water soluble, it will float to the top, and the cook can simply skim it off. Dry rendering uses a large pan and no water to heat the fat, allowing the cook to skim impurities away.

    Source:
    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-lard.htm

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