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Jun 27, 2010 06:46 PM

Where to buy leaf lard/fatback in Birmingham, AL??

Does anyone know where I could find fatback or leaf lard for rendering my own lard? I have tried all of the big grocery stores, several hispanic grocers, Mr P's deli (for a butcher, they do not seem to carry any "odd" cuts), and Red Pearl. Red Pearl did have pork SKIN with some fat attached, but that was about it. I have also tried a few grocery stores in the country (Etowah/Marshall counties), with no luck (though I did find smoked jowls DIRT CHEAP).

I travel to Huntsville fairly regularly, so I am willing to shop there as well.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. You might want to try El Mercado on Green Springs in Homewood. It is in the Big Lots shopping center at Valley. They have a butcher shop in the back. Their cooked meat is not too bad either.

    2 Replies
    1. re: smithareeny

      Are you using leaf lard for pie crusts (pretty good!)? I've purchase it before from V. Richard's, and it's from Fudge Farms (Henry Fudge). Can't do better than that.

      1. re: deepfriedkudzu

        THANK YOU DeepFriedKudzu!! I am familiar with Fudge Farms and was actually considering trying to get some from them, or from Sequatchie when they come to Pepper Place.

        I *do* make pie crusts, but I mainly wanted to render my own lard (since I am not a fan of the shelf-stable hydrogenated box of crap on the shelves) for frying.

        Thanks again, and I will definitely hit V Richards!

    2. UPDATE: Twice I tried to get lard from V. Richards and both times the staff was incredibly pretentious, snotty and downright RUDE. I was told by the butcher that I "had no idea what I am talking about", and when I specified the difference between leaf lard and fatback, he replied with a long sigh and a "we tend to cater to UPSCALE cuts of meat". When I specifically mentioned the Fudge Farms fatback, he said they were out and to call back and to "only ask for fatback".

      3 days later I called rather than drive back there, got transferred to the meat department, got a different butcher, who was equally as rude. I asked to speak to a manager, was placed on hold, and finally hung up after 7 minutes. I am pretty sure that they had no intentions of connecting me to a manager.

      Needless to say, I will NOT be shopping with V Richards EVER in the future, and I am not finished with letting them know about their terrible service.

      Also, I found fatback for dirt cheap @ Hometown Market while in Oneonta. And Mi Pueblo sells their own home-rendered manteca for anyone who might be interested,

      3 Replies
      1. re: johnnystiletto

        Weird I have never had rude service at V. Richard's and sometimes they are a little overeager to help you when you are just looking around. I've probably been there 50 times in the last 3 years. With that said, not everything I have had from the grill has been wonderful. I am sorry that you had a bad experience there.

        1. re: johnnystiletto

          Johnnystiletto, V. Richard's used to be *my* grocery store until Whole Foods came to town. I hardly ever go there any more, even though I drive past it every day.

          I've never had a rude experience with the staff (although I occasionally got frustrated with whether or not they would order enough Wright Dairy milk) but completely understand your upset over how you were treated.

          And what a ridiculous statement to make regarding "upscale" cuts of meat. The Fudge Farms leaf lard I purchased from them is in a clear, round container and could not be confused by anyone (including a high school student working the meat department) with fatback. Pffft.

          BTW, Chef Tom Robey is doing some incredible things with Fudge Farm pork at Veranda.

          1. re: deepfriedkudzu

            I was shocked since everyone I know typically speaks very highly of V. Richards, but I was floored by it. I guess it happens though, and there are plenty of other stores for me to shop at!

            Whole Foods is closer to my home and office anyway :)

        2. You can order pork belly from Boutwell Farms if that helps. They also come to Pepper Place, but they deliver to Highlands Bar & Grill, Valleydale Farmer's Market, and UPS as well. I haven't tried it yet, but everything else I've ordered from them has been top notch,

          1 Reply
          1. re: jendelush

            I've actually sent off some emails to Sequatchie Cove Farms to see if they can bring some to Pepper Place, but will definitely look into Boutwell as well - thank you!!

          2. I know this is an old post, but Bruno's in Riverchase now carries fresh pork fat, NOT salted/cured fatback, but actual FAT. The price was very reasonable as well.

            I am planning on doing some more rendering today, and will keep you all posted.

            6 Replies
            1. re: johnnystiletto

              You tried the mercados? Is your own rendered lard that much better than buying some manteca at one of the mercados? I really don't know as I have never tried rendering lard.

              1. re: Dax

                The only lard I've seen at the mercados was the hydrogenated kind on the shelves. When I first went searching for fat, I tried several mercados around town and never did find any actual fat.

                I'm rendering the Bruno's fat right now and, so far, so good. Only downside was that there was still a lot of lean left on the fat, which is really hard to trim off when the fat is soft. Next time I will partially freeze the fat before removing any residual meat.

                1. re: johnnystiletto

                  I saw some uncured fatback with some meat at Chai's in Southside.

              2. re: johnnystiletto

                Have you bought any lately at the Bruno's? I need some but that is a long way from my house and I wanted to make sure it was still available there.

                1. re: BadRabbitAU

                  I shop @ Bruno's regularly and I haven't seen it there in quite a while. I've gotten to where I buy my fat from the Super Oriental Market on West Valley since they almost ALWAYS have it, along with chicken feet, pork belly, soup bones, and other hard to find butcher items.

                  Don't bother with Mr. P's deli, as they don't carry it. I have asked Cajun Cleaver to carry fat, and they have obliged. They said just to call ahead and they can try to save some.

                  Oriental Market
                  126 Coliseum Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36109

                  1. re: johnnystiletto

                    Thanks for the help. They didn't have any today but I was assured that they usually have it. Their belly looked good enough for braising but it wasn't striated well enough for bacon. Any luck with bellies anywhere else?