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where to find Rendered leaf lard in LA area?

french roast Dec 6, 2008 05:42 PM

This was a conversation that started 2 years ago when the NY Times article about how amazing leaf lard is for making pie crust came out. Everyone was looking for leaf lard. Now here we are, 2 years later, and to this day I still don't know where in the world to find it in the LA area that is rendered. I bought the unrendered version at Surfas, and attempted to render it myself today. Whoever decided that is was an okay thing to do in a small kitchen...at best has more talent, a better kitchen vent, and stronger stomach than I do, and is at worst a filthy liar! Serioiusly...that was disgusting. Despite having all windows open and fans going, my whole apartment still smells like pig guts, not to mention my hair and clothes. AND, to add insult to injury, I let it cook for a minute too long and now it's burnt. All that for something that I maybe could use for beans, but certainly not pie crust. I'm so discouraged. Is the anywhere anyone has found in LA where I can buy it pre-rendered? Or am I just going to have to give in and order it online from some East coast farm?

  1. Joe Blowe Dec 6, 2008 06:49 PM

    I am not aware of any source in L.A. for rendered leaf lard. It's usually sold in its natural state because it's easier to put the burden of rendering on the customer, and most consumers seeking leaf lard want to see it in its natural state so that they know what they're dealing with.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Joe Blowe
      Hungry4Good Sep 13, 2010 10:16 AM

      So, does anybody know what the stuff is in the red box at stores all over town that says "lard" / "manteca?" All I know from what I've read over the years is that nobody uses it.

      1. re: Hungry4Good
        Joe Blowe Sep 13, 2010 11:03 AM

        'Manteca' is simply the Spanish word for lard.

        The packaged manteca you see in grocery stores is pig fat (trimmings obtained during butchering, *not* leaf lard). It is rendered and then hydrogenated for stability.

        Avoid it for cooking, but feel free to use it for seasoning cast iron pans.

        1. re: Joe Blowe
          Hungry4Good Sep 13, 2010 03:50 PM

          Thanks, Joe. Wouldn't it be great if quality lard were that convenient!

          1. re: Hungry4Good
            jadekarrde Sep 20, 2010 10:36 PM

            you can get (presumably, haven't tried it yet) quality lard or tallow by the quart at rawsome.

    2. ipsedixit Dec 6, 2008 09:29 PM

      Maloney Meat in Southgate.


      5 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        Joe Blowe Dec 7, 2008 07:43 AM


        1. re: ipsedixit
          french roast Dec 7, 2008 11:35 AM

          I just called Maloney's, and they told me that they did not carry it. When did you find it there?

          1. re: french roast
            Joe Blowe Dec 7, 2008 03:43 PM

            According to the link I posted immediately above, Maloney's hasn't carried leaf lard for at least two years.

            I'll reiterate what I said earlier: You'll have a very hard time finding *rendered* leaf lard (as in ready-to-use) in Los Angeles. I'd be ecstatic if anyone can prove me wrong...

            1. re: Joe Blowe
              french roast Dec 7, 2008 06:20 PM

              Ah well. I love to eat local, but it looks like I'm going give in to mail order. Either that, or start a sideline business selling rendered leaf lard to Angelinos!

            2. re: french roast
              ipsedixit Dec 8, 2008 11:42 AM

              french roast,

              I haven't been in the market for leaf lard since I left the baking business many years ago.

          2. b
            bad nono Dec 7, 2008 06:49 PM

            Please pardon my ignorance if I ask a stupid question, but would rendered leaf lard be the same thing as "suet"? In case it is, I saw some at Surfas last week. If not, apologies.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bad nono
              posh Dec 7, 2008 07:07 PM

              Suet is cow fat; lard is pig fat.

              We failed with the leaf lard too, but I have since rendered lard from other cuts. It is very, very easy and doesn't do anything other than make the kitchen smell like pork. You can do it on the oven or stove--just put pork on low heat with some water and let it do its thing.

            2. 5
              5monthsleftinla Dec 8, 2008 12:06 PM

              I have definitely seen it in the fridges near the frozen meats at Surfas, unrendered.

              1. t
                Tim77 Dec 13, 2008 10:40 AM

                Bristol Farms in Pasadena had it a couple of weeks ago and Surfas has it. Bon appetit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Tim77
                  Joe Blowe Dec 13, 2008 11:07 AM

                  Surfas does NOT have RENDERED leaf lard -- they sell leaf lard that you have to render yourself. Please read the original post, and the following conversation.

                  As I said above, I'd be ecstatic if anyone can prove me wrong that you can buy *rendered* leaf lard in L.A. If Bristol Farms actually carries it (and that's a BIG IF), then I'll be damned...

                  1. re: Tim77
                    french roast Dec 13, 2008 12:40 PM

                    Bristol Farms? I'm assuming you mean the South Pasadena one. I just called and spoke to the butcher, and he told me that he does not have, nor has he ever had, leaf lard, rendered or not. Are you maybe thinking of a different place? Or is it a grocery item?

                  2. f
                    french roast Dec 17, 2008 07:00 PM

                    Just to give this one closure, I finally gave up and ordered a few pounds from Deidrich's in PA. I'm waiting patiently for its arrival. I guess LA is just not a lard lovin' place. Anyone what to go into this as a side business? We could make some serious cash during pie making season!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: french roast
                      Cinnamon Sep 15, 2009 09:35 PM

                      Just to unclose this topic., for anyone wondering what leaf lard is as opposed to some other kind of lard:

                      "The highest grade of lard, known as leaf lard, is obtained from the "flare" visceral fat deposit surrounding the kidneys and inside the loin. Leaf lard has little pork flavor, making it ideal for use in baked goods, where it is treasured for its ability to produce flaky, moist pie crusts."

                    2. f
                      filone Jul 13, 2010 09:02 PM

                      Just saw leaf lard in the freezer section of Surfas, Culver City.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: filone
                        AAQjr Jul 13, 2010 11:48 PM

                        they carry it pretty regularly. As a word of warning though, around the holidays pastry chefs and some ambitious home cooks start clearing them out. So get your early!

                      2. j
                        JudiAU Sep 22, 2010 10:45 AM

                        A couple of the ferry plaza vendors in SF carry it. I just throw it in my suitcase as a carry on.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: JudiAU
                          Joe Blowe Sep 22, 2010 04:27 PM

                          I have to ask -- only because so few seem to "get it" -- but this is *rendered* leaf lard? As in ready-to-use?

                          Are they rendering it themselves? Are they obtaining it from an outside source? Websites?

                          1. re: Joe Blowe
                            emily Feb 1, 2011 03:53 PM

                            Prather Ranch, Boccalone, and Fatted Calf have all carried rendered leaf lard for around $10 lb. Better to just buy and ship it from Dietrich's in PA. I usually buy 10 lbs at a time and it's about $45 with shipping to CA.

                            1. re: Joe Blowe
                              JudiAU Sep 26, 2012 07:47 PM

                              Yes, rendered and pastry-ready. Rendered in house/

                              And as an update, both MaCalls and Lindy and Grundy usually have it to.

                          2. f
                            filone Sep 25, 2012 01:02 PM

                            Organic rendered leaf lard available at Lindy & Grundy Butcher
                            801 North Fairfax Avenue, LA
                            (323) 951-0804

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