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How can I tell if it's lard or just plain old fat?

sufunsified Feb 2, 2010 09:57 AM

I went to the butcher today to get lard for making tamale dough. I live in Amsterdam, so I'm not sure if the chunk-o-stuff I got today is really lard (I made sure to look up the correct term in Dutch, so there wasn't a language mistake). It's a white chunk of fatty substance with a porky smell and pink bands mixed in. Is there a way to tell if this is lard? If it's not lard, what's the best way to turn it into lard?

Many thanks in advance! I'm having a dinner party tomorrow and really need to get my animal fat in order before 12 people come in search of artery-clogging deliciousness.

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  1. JungMann RE: sufunsified Feb 2, 2010 10:02 AM

    If you bought reuzel and it has a consistency and appearance similar to vegetable shortening, you should be in Lard Land.

    1. todao RE: sufunsified Feb 2, 2010 10:03 AM

      Lard is a rendered fat from hogs. Anything else is just fat.

      1. s
        sufunsified RE: sufunsified Feb 2, 2010 10:20 AM

        Thanks for the replies. I went and pocked around in it, and it has the texture of very solid vegetable shortening, so I'm definitely in Lard Land. Yum!

        1. Rojellio RE: sufunsified Feb 2, 2010 11:53 AM

          IF its rendered... which Lard should be.. it should have the consistency of vegetable shortening. There is also beef suet... which unfortunately is not sold in pre-rendered form. I render my own suet for pie crust, spotted 'Richard' / Clootie Dumpling.

          1. d
            dmd_kc RE: sufunsified Feb 2, 2010 12:05 PM

            Really hard to tell, but I'd guess you have leaf lard, which isn't as fully rendered as the stuff you buy commercially. For tamales, I think it'd be very delicious.

            1. g
              gordeaux RE: sufunsified Feb 2, 2010 12:58 PM

              Sounds like you got enough input already, but, just be sure, send me a dozen of those tamales, and I'll test them for you.

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