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where, oh where, can i find leaf lard?

winnie Dec 9, 2002 03:51 PM

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?

  1. j
    JudiAU Dec 9, 2002 06:39 PM

    Where are you located?

    1 Reply
    1. re: JudiAU
      ruth arcone Dec 11, 2002 12:04 AM

      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. z
      zora Dec 9, 2002 08:31 PM

      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
        cgewertz Jul 13, 2012 04:01 AM

        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
          Heidi cooks and bakes Jul 13, 2012 07:56 AM

          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
            cgewertz Jul 13, 2012 10:46 AM

            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. k
        Karl S. Dec 10, 2002 09:02 AM

        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.
          winnie Dec 10, 2002 03:23 PM

          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. w
          winnie Dec 10, 2002 03:26 PM

          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. w
            Wendy Lai Dec 10, 2002 06:32 PM

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: Wendy Lai
              winnie Dec 10, 2002 09:02 PM

              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. s
              susan Dec 15, 2002 09:02 PM

              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. Becca Porter Sep 22, 2006 02:44 AM

                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. f
                  fryrose Sep 22, 2006 02:55 AM

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

                  1. r
                    Richard L Sep 22, 2006 10:22 PM

                    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. k
                      Kris Oct 28, 2006 06:26 PM

                      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
                        emily Oct 29, 2006 09:34 PM

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

                        1. re: Kris
                          pountreacle Jan 16, 2009 09:25 AM

                          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. Candy Oct 29, 2006 09:48 PM

                          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. l
                            ligature Oct 30, 2006 09:30 PM

                            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. re: ligature
                              Blizzisme Apr 11, 2011 06:31 AM

                              What italian store in montreal?

                            2. h
                              happy_macomb Nov 15, 2006 11:33 PM

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

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: happy_macomb
                                ligature Nov 22, 2006 08:25 PM

                                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
                                  Becca Porter Nov 22, 2006 10:18 PM

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

                                2. Chuckles the Clone Nov 15, 2006 11:38 PM

                                  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
                                    cgewertz Jul 13, 2012 04:04 AM

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

                                    1. re: cgewertz
                                      cgewertz Oct 21, 2012 06:26 PM

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

                                  2. j
                                    jennsch Nov 16, 2006 04:37 AM

                                    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. l
                                      leewatkinsjr Nov 16, 2006 09:18 PM

                                      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
                                        pastrychef512 Aug 12, 2007 06:39 AM

                                        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?

                                        1. re: pastrychef512
                                          allisen Feb 18, 2009 10:57 AM

                                          It's already rendered.

                                      2. m
                                        magcc Nov 22, 2006 03:16 PM

                                        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
                                          gezelliggirl Feb 22, 2007 06:04 AM

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

                                          1. re: gezelliggirl
                                            Kris Jul 28, 2007 02:16 PM

                                            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
                                              Kris Jul 29, 2007 03:29 PM

                                              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. f
                                          Farmer Sandy Feb 8, 2009 07:05 AM

                                          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
                                            VinnyD May 22, 2010 07:21 AM

                                            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
                                              biondanonima Aug 8, 2011 09:58 AM

                                              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
                                              Farknight May 29, 2010 04:48 AM

                                              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. e
                                              esc67 Oct 2, 2010 09:51 AM


                                              I bought some this week at their SF store

                                              1. k
                                                karela11 Nov 21, 2010 02:08 PM


                                                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. h
                                                  happy_macomb Nov 11, 2011 03:45 PM

                                                  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. MsMaryMc Jul 14, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                    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. k
                                                      karela11 Jul 14, 2012 03:24 PM

                                                      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.

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