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Where can I find pure lard?

jcattles Jul 17, 2008 02:34 PM

I'm talking about pure, unrefined, non-hydrogenated lard? I'd be happy to travel far and wide for pork fat. I can just taste the wonderful dishes I can make.

  1. MMRuth Jul 22, 2008 06:43 AM

    Here's another online source found for me by my father (I was hoping he could find some for me in Iowa and bring it to Wisconsin on our summer vacation):


    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth
      MIss G Jul 24, 2008 12:20 PM

      Any good Latino or Brittish market should have lard packaged already. Or ask your local butcher.....the fat lining a beef heart is great.

    2. johnb Jul 20, 2008 05:25 AM

      I know what leaf lard is, but why is it so special--what is it that it does that regular (good) lard from fat elsewhere on the pig doesn't, and is the difference really a big deal? Putting it another way, is it really worth the effort to go out there and get this stuff? Obviously most folks get through life without it, since it's so hard to find.

      I remember my momma using lard as her regular cooking fat in the old days (before she switched to Crisco--ugh), and I have always used it for chicken and pie crusts, and have been on a hyper-lard-kick lately--I deep fried yellow squash slices in lard last evening---mmmmm good. But I've never had leaf lard, and am curious to know more about the practical advantages of it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: johnb
        Ruth Lafler Jul 20, 2008 10:37 AM

        I think leaf lard is used specifically for pastry -- presumably because the thin sheets are easier to break down into small fragments and incorporate without overworking or overheating the dough.

        1. re: johnb
          carswell Jul 20, 2008 02:56 PM

          Actually, since the leaf fat is rendered, there are no thin sheets. The difference with leaf lard is that it's purer, milder tasting and a bit softer than other lards, all of which can be counted an advantage for pastry, especially sweet pastry, baked goods and certain other uses. If you haven't been turned off by pork/bacon flavours in your lard cookery, there's really not much need to seek out leaf lard.

          1. re: carswell
            sebetti Jul 21, 2008 12:54 PM

            Just a quick addition to carswell's comment, 'mild' REALLY means mild. Good leaf lard, has none of the 'pigginess' that many of the the other posters have mentioned. I really thought the difference was night and day flavor-wise...well, it might have been smell-wise...but that's almost the same...

            1. re: sebetti
              carswell Jul 21, 2008 07:25 PM

              Both the type of fat rendered and the rendering method used affect the smell/taste of the final product. Leaf fat rendered using the wet method produces the mildest lard; fat from the leg, shoulder, etc. rendered using the dry method produces the porkiest.

        2. e
          edburns Jul 19, 2008 09:49 PM

          Make it yourself. Go to the supermarket and ask the butcher for pork fat. If he doesn't have it, he'll save it for you. It's real cheap if not free. Put it in a pan on the stove at a real low temprature and it will render out nicely. Or do it in the oven at about 300 or so. Pour it off into a sealable container, and put it in the fridge.

          1. j
            jlafler Jul 18, 2008 04:55 PM

            I noticed last weekend that one of the vendors at our local farmer's market sells lard.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jlafler
              roxlet Jul 19, 2008 12:37 AM

              Where is that?

              1. re: roxlet
                jlafler Jul 19, 2008 09:02 AM

                In my case, the California Ave. farmer's market in Palo Alto -- which I realize isn't necessarily useful to many of you! But seeing it there just made me think that farmer's markets, in general, might be a good place to look.

            2. m
              moh Jul 18, 2008 01:34 AM

              Sorry to do this, I know it isn't quite on topic. But we just recently rendered our own lard using Edna Lewis's instructions from "The Taste of Country Cooking". We ordered pork fat (Fresh lard) from a local butcher and rendered it down on the stove. We then used the resultant lard to fry chicken (along with butter, bits of presunto and smoked ham as we could not get Virginia Country Ham easily.) We got 2 kg of fresh lard for $5, and had about half of it left after rendering. I think it would be the cheapest option.

              Dang! Lard is good! It is worth the effort to render it! But it may kill my diet completely.

              4 Replies
              1. re: moh
                hill food Jul 19, 2008 12:33 AM

                no no moh! properly rendered lard is actually better than many fats.

                granted don't make a meal of it, but still...

                1. re: hill food
                  moh Jul 19, 2008 06:27 AM

                  Oh hill food, I absolutely agree that properly rendered lard is a very good fat. That being said, it probably still isn't as healthy as a plate of steamed veggies... Also, using a pound of it to fry chicken just looks scary...

                  1. re: moh
                    Zeldog Jul 19, 2008 05:34 PM

                    Obviously, you don't eat a pound of lard when you fry chicken in a pound of lard. But as much as I like using lard, let's face it, it's less healthy than most vegetable oils. I find a 50/50 blend of lard with peanut or canola oil gives you most of the crispyness and flavor of pure lard. The trade off is it doesn't last as long.

                    Yep, I render my own and never touch the prepackaged stuff. If your local market sells pork fat, that's the way to go.

                    1. re: moh
                      hill food Jul 19, 2008 10:03 PM

                      well not much is healthier than a plate of steamed veggies.

                      and frying chicken is indeed scary (well the clean-up anyway)

                2. Ruth Lafler Jul 17, 2008 05:17 PM

                  If you have access to a Mexican market with a meat counter, they usually have house-rendered lard.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    STevenGarsson Jul 17, 2008 10:35 PM


                    That was about the only one I could find.

                    Best Regards,

                    STeven Garsson

                  2. b
                    BikeToEat Jul 17, 2008 03:32 PM

                    Many Hands Organic Farm in MA will ship organic lard to you. It smells very "piggy" but after cooking it doesn't taste nearly as "piggy" as it smells out of the container. I haven't purchased from her in a couple of years, but last time it was $12 per quart plus shipping.
                    http://www.mhof.net/ Oops, just checked their website and they are sold out for 2008. You can get on the mailing list for the future.

                    The Boston Globe ran an article about the farm a few years ago.

                    1. MMRuth Jul 17, 2008 02:39 PM

                      Where are you located? I buy it in NYC from Flying Pigs Farm - I think they may do mail order.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: MMRuth
                        jcattles Jul 17, 2008 07:11 PM

                        I'm in Wyoming

                        1. re: jcattles
                          MMRuth Jul 18, 2008 03:06 AM

                          Here's their website, just in case:


                          They do do mail order. I've not bought leaf lard, just rendered lard (they also sell unrendered. If you want to render lard yourself I believe there is an instructive, though old, thread on Home Cooking.

                          1. re: MMRuth
                            sebetti Jul 18, 2008 01:36 PM

                            I've purchased their leaf lard, they are an excellent source (is it weird that I ordered it for my husband as part of his birthday present?)

                            1. re: sebetti
                              Ruth Lafler Jul 18, 2008 01:44 PM

                              No, it's thoughtful. Or at least, it is if you knew it was something he really wanted -- that's what makes a perfect gift, since it reflects the fact that you know him intimately enough to buy him something he specifically desires, not some more traditional but also generic gift. You know, one of the nicest (and also chow-related) gifts I received recently was when I came home one day and my "handyman" had made a window box for my kitchen window and transplanted my herbs into it. I'd wanted a window box for that window ever since we remodelled that kitchen over 15 years ago, but it was never high enough on the priority list to actually get done. I don't think I had ever mentioned to him that I wanted one, he just did it because he knew it would please me (or because he was tired of tiptoeing around the herbs in an area he was working in -- LOL).

                        2. re: MMRuth
                          Remag1234 Jul 25, 2008 08:53 AM

                          I just checked prices at Flying Pigs, it should be called Flying GUNS. I can buy everything they sell for a fraction of the cost. Fresh pigs feet/knuckles $1.10lb.
                          I go to the New Chinatown in Flushing Queens. Amazing prices and terrible parking. Look for private pay parking, muni parking is overcrowded and metermaids are always there.

                          1. re: Remag1234
                            gplot Jul 26, 2010 07:10 PM

                            Since when is this site about sacrificing quality for quantity? Flying Pigs Farm sells rare, heritage breed pork products, not the mass-produced and inhumane pork you get in the grocery store. As in everything else, and especially food, you get what you pay for.

                            Their leaf lard is fantastic -- would definitely recommend it to anyone. And as previous commenters have noted, they do ship. www.flyingpigsfarm.com

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