If you were to ask our grandmothers and great grandmothers about CRISCO Shorting, more then likely, they would laugh or ask you what it is. Jars of drained fat could be found in most refrigerators for use in daily cooking, but now days we reach for shorting, butter and oils, which in their proper place are a good choice.
The return of lard... slow rendered to perfection, mostly flavorless can pack a positive punch to any dish or baked item. Simply use the same was you would the other stand ins and enjoy the impact.
Hog fat (if your adventurous) and slow rendered back lard and leaf lard are available to our farm members via our wed site. www.blackhogfarm.com
Below is a quick rendered version of the difference in the lards.
Lard can be obtained from any part of the pig as long as there is a high concentration of fatty tissue.
Leaf lard is the highest grade of lard. It comes from the visceral - 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 crust.
Fatback lard is the next highest grade of lard is obtained from the hard subcutaneous fat between the back skin and muscle of the pig.
Lard was commonly used in many cuisines as a cooking fat or shortening, or as a spread similar to butter. Its use in contemporary cuisine has diminished, but many contemporary cooks and bakers still favor it over other fats for select uses. The culinary qualities of lard vary somewhat depending on the part of the pig from which the fat was taken and how the lard was processed.