Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wall Street Journal on Lard

Manfred Stockner with Mangalitsa lardo and lard.

The Wall St. Journal has an article on lard today. It mentions, coincidentally, the Weston A Price Foundation that I posted about recently.

With such a food-centric article, they needed a food picture. They should have called me! Rather than running a somewhat wimpy photo of a "lard cake", they could have run with a photo of Manfred Stockner holding his Mangalitsa lardo and lard. Here's videos of Stockner on lardo - the same lardo that Gourmet's Carolyn Banfalvi liked so much.

For the most part, Mangalitsa producers are lard connoisseurs - because their Mangalitsa produce so much fat of such (potentially) high quality. Mangalitsa lard is more monounsaturated than typical lard, making it more like duck fat. Mangalitsas produce the best meat - but as a consequence they make a lot of fat - requring Mangalitsa producers to carefully control their fat quality.

As a result of Wooly Pigs selling such high quality lard, it doesn't surprise me at all to go online and find remarks from customers like:
I've yet to find anything better than Mangalitsa lard to cook, fry and bake with.
That customer may or may not know, that Mangalitsa fat tastes good not only because of the breed, but also because of the finishing diet and age at slaughter. Producing great lard requires optimizing multiple variables. If I finished my Mangalitsa pigs on corn (like almost all pigs in the USA), they'd have lower quality fat.

I ate a piece of braised Mangalitsa belly almost two weeks ago. I can still remember how delicious it was.

Anyway, even if the Wall Street Journal article doesn't mention Mangalitsa, I'm happy to know that lard is making a comeback.


Mr. Sean said...

Heath, do you sell lard? In what quantities? I would like to just try a small amount (1 pound or 2, or so)

Heath Putnam said...

I sell leaf lard and fatback.

I wish there was a USDA processor I could take my pigs to, have them kill the pigs and give me back lard - but that isn't how things work right now. You'll have to render the stuff yourself.

It isn't hard to render lard:

Mr. Sean said...

That's great.
What weights are the packages?

Heath Putnam said...

I have different sizes. In general, you might as well render 5-10# of fat at a time, because it takes the same time whether you do a small batch or a big batch.

Heath Putnam said...

I have some 1-2# packages. Those sell well. I'd much rather sell you 10# of fat, of course.