I like lard. It gives a silky, luxurious texture to foods. (See my story on Thai stir-fried pork.) It has good keeping qualities and is stable when heated, making it an excellent choice for frying. According to Jennifer McLagan, author of the DCCC pick Fat, foods fried in lard absorb less oil than when fried in oil, making them crisper and, I suppose as a result, healthier. Lard, particularly leaf lard, is also prized for making pastry because its crystalline structure is said to create a very flaky dough.
Pork fat, I learned from McLagan, is good for us. It is mostly (more…)