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Lard in San Diego

I have problems to find lard in SD (leaf lard would be even better). I live in the Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch area and mainly looked in this area. I got it before from Major Market but they didn;t have it the last time. Any suggestions ?

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  1. I've seen lard in a couple of random places. Saw it in the Balboa Ave. Target the other day. Also, it seems like the sort of thing you might see at Food 4 Less; there's one off Clairemont Mesa just east of 805.

    1. I find the ones that I see in the grocery stores look so processed that I try to avoid them. But if that's what's most convenient, Farmer John carries them in butter-like boxes labelled Manteca, the Spanish name for lard. To me it looks way too white (and therefore over-processed/saturated).

      A much better source would be to go into just about any Latin market that renders their own lard. In my area I get mine in pints at El Torito (not the chain resto. but an independently run market).

      I suspect that finding leaf or caul fat would be quite difficult. However you might want to ask the good folks at Knight Salumi; I'm sure they might be able to either get you some, or to refer you to a good source.

      And speaking of which Knight Salumi cures their own Lardo, the Italian specialty of Carrera which is essentially cured pork belly fat. However it's usually oversubscribed and sells out quickly, necessitating waits until the next batch arrives.

      8 Replies
      1. re: cgfan

        Lardo di Colonatta is normally not made from pork belly fat but from fat from the back of the pig.

        1. re: honkman

          Oh of course (head slap); I stand corrected.

          1. re: cgfan

            Do you know how often they produce the Lardo? Is it something just to put your name on a list and they'll call you? I haven't once seen any Lardo in SD. I went into Mona Lisa once totally expecting them to carry it. They didn't even know what it was. A treat for sure.

            1. re: mjill

              The Linkery also produces Lardo.

              1. re: mjill

                I forgot exactly what Ray (Knight) said, but the last time I just missed out on the Lardo he wasn't expecting the next batch in for several weeks. (I learned my lesson on that one. I had already spotted the last Lardo in the booth but as I was picking out some of his other product the next thing I knew it it was sold to another customer!) He made it a point to say that it's been a "best seller", something that really shocked me given the food Nazi hysteria over fats...

                I don't know whether or not they'll set some aside. I've just made it a point to stake out his booth until it came back in stock.

                Lardo is pretty obscure and I wouldn't expect most places to carry it. I was overjoyed to hear that Knight Salumi was even offering it.

                1. re: cgfan

                  So I went to the Knight webpage - looks good and I've had it at restaurants and it is good. However, what are the prices? It says something like $12 then 'price is per ounce and the average salame is 12 ounces'.
                  They cannot possibly be charging $144 for one small coppa can they? I don't want to go through the checkout to find out, but when the item is in the cart it just says $12, and I dont want to continue to see if it goes up to $144 since the button on the bottom says 'purchase'.
                  I guess I am confused, it can't be $12 for 12 ounces, it doesn't seem to allow me to choose how many ounces, and if it is $12 per ounce...well, no.

                  Dont get me wrong, I am all about salumi and am willing to pay, but if that is the price....uh, I'm ordering from Boccalone for a whole lot less.

                  1. re: rotochicken

                    Never went to their webpage until now. I took a look and I think you can be assured that the total price you see if the estimated price for an average whole salumi: i.e.: ~$12 for most of their product, and ~$15 for their Finocchiona, all based upon an average 12 oz. product.

                    I can assure you that he does not charge $12/oz. but closer to $1/oz. (I never bothered to calculate it) based upon what I pay at his stand at the Farmer's Market.

                    Now when you purchase online whether or not you end up paying based upon the assumption of a 12 oz. product or you actually get charged at the time of shipment based upon the exact weight of the product, I am not sure.

          2. re: cgfan

            If you like Lardo I highly recommend the Lardo ice cream at Linkery. Had it the first time on Friday (as an icecream sandwich with bacon) and it was great. It would be a perfect dessert if you like Animal in LA (which had recently a outstanding bacon chocolate bar).

          3. I just saw some at North Park Produce on H Street in Chula Vista. It's back in the butcher shop area. They also have a shop in Poway.

            1 Reply
            1. re: beth1

              I don't know if this counts as true "lard" but I make my own by rendering down fresh pork belly I buy at Zion (Korean food market in Kearny Mesa). Zion carries kurobuta (Berkshire pork) which has a high proportion of fat. I cut it up into chunks, throw it into a pan, and let it fry slowly in its own fat. After about 45-60 minutes I have a pan full of pure liquid pork fat and a bonus bunch of cracklins. Yummy! I store the fat in a jar in the fridge where it practically keeps forever. I save bacon grease as well.

            2. Your best bet may be to render your own; it keeps for a long time.

              Northgate market generally has decent lard. I am not sure if it's rendered on premises or not. Pancho Villa on El Cajon and the 80 also usually has decent lard. Talk to the guys at Iowa Meat Farms or Sisels, if they don't have the correct fat for rendering leaf lard, they will special order it for you. Everything's available for a price, even in San Diego ;-)

              1. Whoel Foods has Duck and Chicken Fat in the Deli section. HAve you tried a Mexican MArket like Pancho Villa. They are owned by Henry's, and are very good. They also make their own fresh tortillas constantly, they are always warm.