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where, oh where, can i find leaf lard?

  • w

does anyone have a source for either mail-order leaf lard or a local meat market/butchershop that carries the stuff -- in purchasable quantities of less than 10lbs?

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  1. Where are you located?

    1 Reply
    1. re: JudiAU

      I was just about to ask the same question.

      If you are in the NYC area, some of the old Hungarian butcher shops in Yorkville (if there are any left, it has been a while since I tried to find it) might have it.

      Or the same type of store in another location.

    2. I searched long and hard in the DC area a while back. It's just about impossible to find any lard at all, other than the commercial bricks sold in supermarkets. I ended up making my own lard, from fresh pork belly that I got at a Polish butcher/sausage/smoked meat purveyor on the Lower East Side in NYC. Since then, I have gotten fresh lard from a couple of "pastured pork" farmers who come to my farmers' market--it is not leaf lard, of course, which is made from the fat surrounding the kidneys. Perhaps you can form a relationship with a farmer who raises pigs, who will save the leaf fat for you, and you can render it your self. The farmers who sell lard around here, make it with fat scraps that are boiled in a big kettle. When I make my own for Mexican cooking, I render the fat in the oven, which gives it a wonderful roast pork-y flavor. That's not so good for baking--which is usually what you want leaf lard for. if you are anywhere near an Amish market, you might check with meat purveyors there. Most conventional butchers deal with primal cuts, and don't get whole carcasses that would yield sufficient fat for rendering.

      3 Replies
      1. re: zora

        Zora! I just saw this thread because I'm getting ready to write a blog post on leaf lard. I know it's really old, and you -- and the others here -- might well have already found many more good sources. But I just bought and used the most wonderful leaf lard from Wagshall's... white, pure and lovely. --Catherine Gewertz, www.curvymamapies.com

        1. re: cgewertz

          Where is Wagshall's? And if it's a store, what brand was the leaf lard? (For those of us who might not live nearby.)

          1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

            Wagshal's is a small gourmet market in NW D.C., Heidi... here is a link: http://www.wagshals.com/
            It's their own leaf lard. I believe they render it right there.

      2. Scroll through the link below, and you can find it from a farm in Ohio:

        Link: http://www.goodfooddirectnet.com/blaz...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Karl S.

          i've tried them -- they're impossible to get ahold of. and believe me, i've definitely done a pretty thorough net search already. not to mention scoured much of the manhattan area (where i'm located) for the stuff. it's important for me to find mail-order, however...

          thanks for the suggestion though.

        2. oh, and the other major problem is that most places that are willing to special order the stuff (ottomanelli's included) will only sell the 10, 30, or 40lb box it comes in. that's quite a bit of leaf lard. a bit too much, if you ask me. but i guess beggar's can't be choosers.

          if anyone else has any ideas, i'd love to hear them.

          1. what is leaf lard?
            Is it still pork fat rendered?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Wendy Lai

              it's pork fat from around the kidneys, considered the finest lard (back fat being second, intestinal fat being least desirable). it can be rendered.

            2. Try Mexican and South American butchers. When I lived in SF, I could find leaf lard easily by going down to the Mission District. They also had an incredible selection of stuff (pig innards) that I've never seen anywhere else before. I'm sure there are places in NYC, if not Manhattan than in the outer boroughs. I've made lard from it and it's excellent, and even better, you get all those yummy "cracklings".

              1. Quoted from Cooks Illustrated:

                If you'd like to try using that old-fashioned pantry staple known as lard in your pie crusts, don't buy it at the supermarket. We found that supermarket lard did make flaky pie crusts, but it also gave then an off, slightly sour flavor. We much preferred pie crusts made from leaf lard--a high-quality lard taken from around the pig's kidneys--that we mail-ordered from Dietrich's Country Store (660 Old 22, Lenhartsville, PA 19534; 610-756-6344). At just $1.50 per pound, Dietrich's leaf lard produced pie crusts that were not only flaky but also rich tasting--better tasting, in fact, than pie crusts made with Crisco.

                1. Saveur Magazine had an article a while back and it gave resources for leaf lard.

                  1. Flying Pigs Farm (www.flyingpigsfarm.com) in upstate New York sells leaf fat in small quantities. You have to render it to lard yourself. Their bacon is also outstanding.

                    1. Just to let you all know...the price of Dietrich's leaf lard is now $2.50 per pound. No online shopping cart and no credit card set up either - you have to call in your order and send a check. Then they'll ship out your lard.

                      I'll let you all know how my pies come out...I'm looking forward to trying my hand at piecrust from scratch with this product.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Kris

                        I ordered about 10 lbs from Dietrich's last year. Excellent lard and it makes delicious pie crust!

                        1. re: Kris

                          I ordered some from Dietrichs and was not impressed, before making pies I tried frying with it , the smell clung to my clothes and hair, I dont think this was leaf lard. I make pies with half butter and half lard. The lard I have been using comes from Canadian Super Markets and is very acceptable. In search of perfection however I wanted to try leaf lard and I may keep trying.

                        2. I get mine from Fiedler Family Farms at our local farmers market. They have a website and shop too. They were supposed to be butchering hogs recently and have a new batch of lard available.



                          1. Where ever you buy it, make sure it is not hydrogenated. After trying to order some from a source in Pennsylvania they admitted that they buy 55 gallon drums of hydrogenated lard from Hormel. Yuck.
                            I finally found a source for unrendered pork fat at a Italian food store in Montreal.

                            1 Reply
                            1. Ligature: What was the source in Pennsylvania that uses hydrogenated lard from Hormel? Was it Dietrich's?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: happy_macomb

                                Sorry, don't remember the name of the place but it was a mom and pop operation whose name had been mentioned somewhere else. The person answering the phone was completely clueless and had to keep going off to talk to someone else.

                                1. re: happy_macomb

                                  It was definately not Deitrich's. Please do not bring up their name. They have fantastic leaf lard.

                                2. If you're in the DC area, the best place I've found for lard, suet, etc is
                                  the Mt Airy Meat Locker Co. in Mt Airy:


                                  More specifically, it's the *only* place I've found for suet.

                                  It's a bit of a ridiculous drive for $1.50 worth of beef
                                  and pork by-products, but it's a fun place, friendly
                                  people, great prices, good info on the phone, etc.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                    Hey. Chuck, I live in the DC area, too, and I found the leaf lard from Wegman's to be amazing.

                                    1. re: cgewertz

                                      WAGSHAL's, I mean! Wagshal's! on Mass Ave NW!

                                  2. Melissa Clark offered up a leaf lard source in her NY Times pie crust article:

                                    "leaf lard was available at the Flying Pigs Farm stand at the Union Square and Grand Army Plaza Greenmarkets on Saturday and by mail order."

                                    The full article:


                                    1. Prairie Pride Farm, Mankato MN

                                      Online, by phone or mail-order.

                                      From pigs raised by them w/o antibiotics or hormones.


                                      Leaf Lard non hydrogenated, rendered, 1 lbs 8 oz, $12.95; 3 1/2 lb. pkg. $38.33

                                      Call (507) 245-3117 or Toll-Free at (866) 245-PORK

                                      Print and mail your order to: Prairie Pride Farm 59597 185th St., Mankato, MN 56001

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: leewatkinsjr

                                        Just curious what makes this 1.5 lb of lard worth $12.95 as compared to an average of $3. per lb? Anything different about it? Taste? Texture? Quality?

                                      2. I bought some (unrendered) leaf lard from High Hope Hogs at the Union Square Greenmarket this morning. It's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and I don't know if that's their usual day.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: magcc

                                          Did you use the leaf lard? I'm curious to know what you used it for. Pie crust?

                                          1. re: gezelliggirl

                                            I used it to make pie crusts for Thanksgiving 2006. I used a 75% butter 25% lard combo and they came out very good.

                                            Does anyone know the shelf life of this lard? I still have 3 pounds of it in my freezer from when I purchased it last fall. I wonder if it's still any good.

                                            1. re: Kris

                                              I called Dietrich's and was told that their leaf lard has a shelf life of at least a year if it's frozen. If stored in the fridge, it will keep at least 4-5 months.

                                              The young man I spoke to stated that it should not be kept at room temp on the counter or in a cupboard because it will go rancid quickly due to the lack of preservatives.

                                              Since I haven't used the lard since Thanksgiving, today I decided to pull some out of the freezer and fry chicken in it. I've never done that before, but I've heard that back in the day, frying chicken in lard was commonplace.

                                              So I melted the lard in my frying pan and went to work. It fried up golden and crispy. I didn't tell my husband what I was did, but upon eating it he said, "Kris, this chicken is absolutely delicious!" I then confessed my little experiment. I did notice the difference between this chicken and the chicken I usually fry in canola oil. The crust was golden and crispier, the flavor better and the meat itself wasn't greasy.

                                              When I told my mom that I fried chicken in lard today, she first exclaimed "Oh Kris" in horror. But then she confessed to me that as a child, her mother (my grandmother) used to fry her chicken (and everything else) in lard. And that was the best chicken she ever had.

                                              Lard really does have a bad rap nowadays. Just the mention of it to many people causes a negative reaction.

                                              My next experiment will be homemade biscuits.

                                        2. Hi--I own an organic, humane-certified farm about an hour west of DC. We are USDA-certified and can ship anywhere in the US. We sell heritage pork leaf lard for $5.00 a pint, which is about one pound. The lard has been hand-rendered. The website for the Farm's butcher shop is being redone, but you can inquire as to availability and how to order at info@HomeFarmStore.com. The shop is located in Middleburg, Virginia. Questions? Please call Justin Severino (Master Butcher) on (540) 687-8882.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Farmer Sandy

                                            Baltimore: There's a farmer at the Sunday farmers' market under the Jones Falls Expressway in Baltimore who sells frozen unrendered leaf lard.

                                            1. re: VinnyD

                                              Any idea of what this guy's name is or if he's still at this farmers' market? We're headed to Baltimore next weekend and I'd love to pick some up!

                                            2. re: Farmer Sandy

                                              Farmer Sandy is correct, the Leaf Lard at the Home Farm Store is exceptional. My best friend is coming out from Arlington today in fact to obtain some Leaf Lard. Plus, Middleburg is a neat little Hunt Country town.

                                            3. www.fattedcalf.com.

                                              I bought some this week at their SF store

                                              1. http://www.prairiepridepork.com/leafl...

                                                They sell it online. It isn't cheap, but it comes frozen, it isn't hydrogenated and it is made with leaf lard which is the purest flavor for pastry. Enjoy.

                                                1. I read that Ruth Reichl swears by the lard from mangalitsa pigs. It is available here, but it was too pricey for me given how little I'd use in a year: http://woolypigs.blogspot.com/2011/11...

                                                  Our local butcher has it (for me, Wagshall's in Washington DC)-- you might check with a local speciality butcher.

                                                  1. In Seattle, The Swinery in West Seattle carries it--rendered, no special order needed, it's always in their fridge. It makes GREAT pie crust--it's all I use. I portion it out in pie-sized amounts in Dixie cups, throw them in a Ziplock bag, and freeze them--just take one out as needed.

                                                    1. google Dietrich's Country Store/Dietrich's Meats. They sent it by mail and it's perfect! Fantastic pie crust!!!! It's in Pennsylvania Dutch country and they know how to do it. The phone number is 610-756-6344 and you can order over the phone with a credit card. Happy baking.