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Apr 18, 2006 04:18 PM

Pork fat = good skin?

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During my past few trips to Japan, I've noticed that it seems to be common knowledge that eating good amounts of pork fat is good for the skin. I'm not sure if is in fact true or not, but this seems to go against the common knowledge over here in the states. In the presence of some women in Japan at, say, a ramen place serving good fatty chashu, they might say something like, "it's a lot of calories, but at least it's good for my skin..." or some such. I imagine that if it's common knowledge in Japan, it's probably widespread in Asia, though maybe I'm assuming too much. So I guess I'm asking 1) is it true? and 2) is this common knowledge to you too?

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  1. I've heard this quite a bit in Spain--particularly in reference to the meat and cured products (jamón, lomo, salchichón, etc.) from the iberian pig (cerdo ibérico). This has a much higher than normal percentage of omega-3 fatty acids unsaturated fat--due to its genetics and diet.

    I even saw a photography exhibit here once in which the artist photographed women with slices of ham on their faces as if the were getting a ham facial!

    3 Replies
    1. re: butterfly

      Ha, I love it. That might be the latest spa craze! Ham facials, salami compresses!

      My derm back home always told me that gently rendered pork fat - lard - is really the closest substance to the natural oils in human skin, and that I should use just that for sensitive areas like the eyes, lips, etc., especially in the winter.

      Can't say it didn't work, but something about that porky smell was just less attractive to me than those chemical-laden cosmetics...

      1. re: Sir Gawain

        So my dad was right.

        When those high gloss Chanel lip glosses first came on the scene, he said to me and my sisters "$26 a tube?! Why don't I just take you all out and we can share a braised pork leg?"

        1. re: nooodles

          I've always associated them with some strawberry jam kind of thing - sticky ans sweet and your hair sticks to it. In fact, I think I used jam as a gloss as a little girl.

    2. I just moved out to Jackson Heights - and have seen salted pork fat and pork fat (with chunks of pork meat still attached). I'm interested in rendering my own lard (Hangarian langos are a favorite in the summer) - what's the difference, besides salt. Are they used differently?

      1 Reply
      1. re: mt

        have you been to the Euro shop on Queens blvd? It's run by a Hungarian (Magyar not Hungarian Jew like most of propritors of Hungarian places around NYC), they are really stocked up on all kinds of pork and lard. Also many hungarian pastries. We can move this convo to the Outer Boroughs board if you need more info.

      2. By the way, Eric, great to see you posting again.