The bucket of lard pictured above weighs 8 pounds and sells for $57.54 at Walmart, which makes it more expensive than vegetable oil. And now lard is making a comeback.
Remember when McDonald’s fries were cooked in lard and how tasty they were back then, then the food police drove McDonald’s to use vegetable oils?
One day, perhaps, pies and pastries made with lard will be considered a delicacy, and not poo poo’ed on like they were back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. And I hope they are so expensive that they will be out of reach to old hippie vegans who would love to have such a treat after realizing they wasted so much of their lives denying themselves the many wondrous dishes produced in a time when this nation was prosperous.
When Colby and Megan Garrelts opened their newest restaurant, Rye, in Leawood this past December, they made a shocking admission: The flaky crusts for the house-baked lemon-meringue pie and molasses-rich MoKan nut pie were made with lard. Yes, lard, that legendary ingredient which creates the lightest, flakiest pie crusts – and renders such a dessert verboten to vegetarians. (As Fat City has reported before, it’s rare to find a restaurant or bakery ready to admit using the product anymore.)
The Garreltses aren’t alone in celebrating lard. The joys of rendered pig are espoused in a cookbook (published by Kansas City-based Andrews McMeel) titled 100% Natural Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking With Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient. The softbound cookbook was created by the editors of Grit Magazine, whose editor-in-chief, Oscar H. Will III, tells Fat City: “Lard is making a comeback, partly because of the slow-food movement and partly because the lipid hypothesis – that saturated fats are dangerous – has been debunked.”
“The real culprit for a lot of modern health issues,” Will adds, “are fats that don’t exist in nature, the trans fats. Although no one should be making a diet of mostly fatty foods, no matter what kind of fat.”
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