Looking for leaf lard in Toronto
My grandmother has been making a mouth-watering pate for decades, but lately she's been finding it very difficult to find the right ingredients because butchering just isn't the same and butchers aren't familiar with a variety of cuts.
So, while she's had no luck in her hometown of Sudbury, I'm hoping that Toronto has enough traditional butchers that I can find what she needs.
She's looking for pig leaf lard - a round elongated piece of fat with a thin film over it that's found under the ribs.
Anyone know where I could buy 10 lbs of this stuff somewhere in downtown Toronto? I don't have access to transportation other than ttc so I can't trek out to the suburbs to buy it - somewhere in central Toronto is necessary.
Off the top of my head I'd bet Cumbrae's and the Organic Butcher would know what your talking about and be able to get it for you. You could also email the friendly folks at freshfromthefarm.ca. Otherwise I'd start going to Asian (particularly Chinese) butchers, they are much more at home with pig innards then some other cultures. El Gaucho in the market might be worth a call too.
As I said just off the top of my head, I prefer veal kidney fat frites, the reason the Les Halles cookbook by bourdain is worth buying.
I sent an email to "Ask the Butcher". No word yet.
Just got the email:
Maureen, thank you for your question.
Leaf lard – the crumbly fat around the pig’s kidneys – is essentially regular lard before it has been rendered. It is an exact analog of beef suet. There’s not a huge call far this, which is why you are having a problem locating it.
My best advice is to call the Butcher Shoppe (416 234-2290) in Etobicoke – they assure me that they have it, but give them a call beforehand to ensure they have it in stock. At least they knew what leaf lard was when I called them.
Please get back to me if you have any further questions.
Guelph Office: 519 767-4600
Fax: 519 829-1769
Mobile: 416 452-5617
Butcher Shoppe (or the person I talked to) had clearly never heard of leaf lard when I called.
Update from Bruce...
Sorry! I called the largest Toronto processor - Quality Meat Processors
- and they don't sell it any more either. My guess is that it all goes
to make lard or other industrial applications. As there must be about 4
or 5 lb leaf lard per hog, that's an awful lot of leaf lard that gets
processed. I know it's not thrown out as I've seen it sold separately at
It's not often a question defeats me, but I have to admit that this is
one of them!
SUCCESS ! Should have known, The Healthy Butcher !
We do carry leaf lard. We render the kidny/leaf fat from our pigs and strain the fat into a pure rendered lard. We have this lard readily available in our front fridge. Or you can purchase the raw fat right off the hog and render it yourself. If you having any questions, I am happy to help.
The Healthy Butcher
Thanks a lot for your help everyone. It's good to know that others are still looking for the real stuff.
I don't want to become too soppy, but of all times and misfortunes, my grandmother died this past weekend after suffering a stroke the day after I wrote that first message.
So, if I can, in her honour I'll try to find the recipe and post it here. I'll also let my mother know (since she has tried to make the liver pate dish as well) that it's possible to pick some up the next time she comes to Toronto.
Thanks all and best of luck on your own cooking adventures!