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Do you eat the...gulp...fat?

Yes, I admit it. I know it is so unhealthy. But I buy pork rib chops because of the fat along the bone.. It's just so darn tasty. I am a bone sucker. I do trim the fat off chicken breasts but have been known to eat some fat on my steaks...anyone else? Wonder if it is a generational thing?

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  1. Depends, if it's crispy on the outside, and dissolves on the tongue, yes!

    3 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      wyogal, agree.
      with bacon it's an of course but ham or pork chops with the crisped part, sure

        1. Especially on a pork roast that's seasoned with garlic, salt, and black pepper, and roasted until it's browned and crispy! Same for the skin on a roasted chicken - my daughter loves it and she's 20 so I guess it's not a age thing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hippioflov

            In my family this (with herbes de provence added) has the moniker "fatty pork butt". Yum.

          2. The fat in the meat is what makes it flavorful. The best cuts of steak are usually generously marbled with fat.

            To answer your question, yes, I eat it. I also eat bacon, pork belly, duck fat (under the crispy skin), etc. etc.

            1. Nope. Don't like the texture, never have. I'm the one with the bits of fat that I have surgically removed from my steak or pork chop, neatly piles on the edge of my plate.

              28 Replies
              1. re: CanadaGirl

                Canada girl..me too. I watch Dr. Ozz and have read a few books and they all come to the same conclussion. They say you must consume some fat in order to get the nutriants from your food. Though I know that jiggling fat is somewhat a yuck factor..try crisping it up like bacon. It makes a word of difference

                1. re: paprika485

                  Oh, crispy bacon is great. It's the soft, almost slimy texture of fat that bugs me. I am under nO illusions that if I cut all the fat from the edge of my steak the result is fat free; I know there's lots of fat hiding in between the meat fibres in a good steak! I have the same aversion to poultry or fish skin with any flabbiness to it or beneath. No thanks :)

                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                    Now you see for some bizarre reason, I prefer my bacon "flabby". No other types of fat - just bacon.

                    1. re: Bacardi1

                      Flabby bacon for me as well.
                      For me, crispy bacon is definitely overcooked bacon that has had all flavor cooked out of it.

                      But to each his own!

                      1. re: The Professor

                        To me, crispy bacon has had all the flavors concentrated in it. :-)

                        1. re: mcf

                          Personally, I've never understood why bacon is so adored and craved by so many people whether fatty or lean or crisp or limp, or is declared by so many to improve anything it comes in contact with.

                          1. re: huiray

                            Thank goodness for folks like you. More bacon for us.

                              1. re: huiray

                                Years ago in leaner times our mothers would kick a very plain Vegetable soup up a notch by adding at the very end of cooking a small pan-ful of nicely rendered chopped double smoked bacon. One would wait for the "zisch" sound as the contents of the pan hit the soup. It certainly improved the dish. ( These type of soups usually had a lot of chopped Parsley added along with it.)

                                  1. re: huiray

                                    How about in another form - Pork belly.

                                    1. re: RUK

                                      Yes, that would work, especially if you sauté the pork belly before adding to the soup - provided the pork taste does not clash with other ingredients.

                                      It's *bacon* after the curing of the pork belly and, oftentimes, smoking - that to me tends to overwhelm almost anything that it is put in contact with. Unsmoked bacon still has a certain "edge" that I simply don't particularly care for and that still also "interferes" with the "cleaner" taste of a dish that I usually look for. "Canadian bacon" might warrant an exception now and then, depending on which type exactly is being considered. Also, most bacon types add a great deal of saltiness - of the "bacon-y" type - which I dislike. By itself, where there is nothing else to compete with it, it is fine - in limited doses. English-style Bacon & Eggs, for example, is fine and once in a while I'd whip that up or go out for a pig-out breakfast with bacon, sausages, eggs, hash, fried tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, etc etc - but even there it is the bacon that is the predominant "taste" to me amidst all the other stuff, *unless* I also had something else like smoked kippers in the meal.

                                      For that matter, when I do make something like pasta carbonara, I try very hard NOT to use "ordinary" bacon and generally would not make it if I didn't have (unsmoked) pancetta or guanciale.

                                      1. re: huiray

                                        Thanks for the clarification.
                                        Although my question/remark was more along the lines of "you do eat Pork belly", which is just another preparation of the same part of a pig. But I wouldn't quite use it the same way as double smoked bacon. ( I am not talking about ordinary bacon)

                                        1. re: RUK

                                          That double-smoked bacon in the article? Pass.

                                          Interesting that you appear to equate bacon with plain pork belly, as if there was nothing different between the two and that they were exactly equivalent, as implied in your comment about your initial question. Sorry, there is a lot of difference between "bacon" and "plain pork belly". Would you consider something like "kau yuk" [See: https://www.google.com/search?q=kau+yuk] and "bacon" to be exactly the same thing? No difference whatsoever?

                                          ETA: Y'know, sometimes I pick up a slab of very nice looking bacon slices from my local German butcher, with intentions of using it - but again and again it gets put into the fridge, where it languishes - then shoved into the freezer...and after maybe 4-6 months it gets thrown out, often completely unused, when I rearrange my freezer and need the space. Reminiscent of my sometimes buying a loaf of artisanal German bread from the Farmers' Market (where it had looked nice and I thought of perhaps having some bread that day) which then sits on my counter until it gets thrown out two weeks later, fossilized and without a single piece cut from it.

                                          ETA2: The best Chinese roast pork (siu-yuk) is the pork belly section. I love that. However, this is also NOT "the same as bacon", at least to me. Big difference. But perhaps you think of it as the same? I would also eat it with neutral accompaniments (like rice) or by itself. If I added it to soups it also tends to "taint"/muddy the overall taste - to me, although in a different way than if I had used bacon.

                                          I'm not sure why I seem to have to defend my less-than-rabidly-fervent appreciation of bacon here. It's my personal preference.

                                        2. re: huiray

                                          Just a question - do Americans generally think "Canadian bacon" is the type of bacon eaten in Canada?

                                          1. re: porker

                                            Others will have to answer for themselves but for myself - no, it's a style of cured pork, generally back pork/pork loin. Back bacon or peameal bacon are other terms I am aware of, with peameal bacon in my mind tending to be unsmoked and basically brined back pork. Note that I had used "Canadian bacon" set in double quotes.

                                            1. re: huiray

                                              I figured that CHers are, somewhat, better versed than your average bear in matters of food. I also caught the " ", so I kinda thought you knew canadian bacon is simply a style of cured pork.
                                              Just wondering if the American public thinks along the same lines, or when a Canadian eats bacon&eggs, its this peameal stuff.

                                              1. re: porker

                                                When I lived in Canada I used to go along with my companion and his sister to some local pubs (in the GTO/Cambridge/Kitchener area) where she would get the most luscious peameal bacon as a 1-2 foot piece as a "special order" from the kitchen staff - and we would cook it and stuff our faces with it later. :-)

                                            2. re: porker

                                              well, why would they call it Canadian Bacon?

                                              1. re: genoO

                                                Canadians DON'T call it "Canadian Bacon". Not sure why Americans call it that.

                                          2. re: RUK

                                            A 'Bahn Mi' with glazed pork belly from Star Provisions in Atlanta. yeah...

                                  2. re: The Professor

                                    My grandfather would eat bacon that was basically just heated up in the frying pan, he loathed bacon once it got crispy

                                    I am a crispy bacon lover, but if it's got a bit of the less cooked stuff on the end, I'm not turning my nose up at it

                                    1. re: cgarner

                                      I believe a BLT will be in my very near future....

                                  3. re: Bacardi1

                                    Soggy bacon for me, all the way. Okay, though crisper is better for sandwiches and such.

                                    And that Chinese pork belly and hard-boiled egg dish, light on the egg. You have to watch, though, because sometimes I think they think that because I'm not Chinese I want the meatier pieces, when I really want the fattier ones.

                                    And a little bite of the (hopefully seasoned) edge fat with each bite of steak or pork chop. Even ham fat, and of course chicken skin, though not the soggy bits.

                                    That sounds awful, but everything in moderation, right? I really like the meat fats, so I choose to have those and cut back in other areas instead, where I don't care as much. *shrug*

                                1. re: paprika485

                                  Dr. Oz is the LAST person who would cause me to eat or not eat anything.

                                  1. re: jmckee

                                    Me, too, but I still eat the fat!

                              2. It depends. Crispy bacon fat, yes. Big chunks of fat on the outside of pork chops, no. Fat running through a well marbled steak, yes, but not the outside fat. Chicken fat, usually not. Prosciutto and serrano ham, you'd better believe it!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: cheesemaestro

                                  I'm the same, cheesemaestro. It's a texture thing for me. Mr. S carefully trims my porkchop after cooking and takes the fat for himself. win-win
                                  but the lovely crisp fat on bacon? Just had some this morning.

                                  1. re: Sooeygun

                                    Same here. And it needs to be still hot. Too often, it cools quickly and turns rubbery. Nasty, nasty, nasty.

                                  2. re: cheesemaestro

                                    Don't forget the duck fat for french fries!

                                      1. re: cheesemaestro

                                        Same here, as well as any crispy, charred fat bits on my steaks and chops. My 4 y.o. dd usually gobbles up all the remaining fatty bits, and I figure out it is still fine because she is still young and at a health weight.

                                      2. don't eat pork rib chops, but the edge fat on a grilled veal rib chop or beef rib steak I eat and enjoy

                                        1. Most definitely, as long as it's crispy and delicious.

                                          And I'm in the camp that doesn't believe it's unhealthy to eat animal fat, so I do it without guilt.

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: Transplant_DK

                                            happy eater of fat here too, we can camp in solidarity, my friend. animal fat has gotten a bad rap since the government caved to big ag and convinced everybody that high carb was healthier. meanwhile, americans are fatter, have more diabetes and heart attacks than ever. it's the grains that wreak havoc with your insulin, triglycerides and overall health. ditching them was the best dietary choice i have ever made.

                                            i sometimes will cook chicken thighs when i have hankering for just the crispy skin. i eat butter and olive oil everyday. will happily dip my steak fat in bearnaise and prefer fattier, richer cuts of meat like ribs, shoulder and butt. they are also cheaper since everybody wants the lean, flavorless loin cuts.

                                            oh, and my health markers are all excellent and i can rock skinny jeans. :) we evolved eating animals and animal fat.

                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                              This! A perfectly roasted chicken thigh with crispy salt-spattered skin is truly food of the gods. And the fat on a slice of rare prime rib ... droool ...

                                                1. re: MandalayVA

                                                  Roger on the prime rib fat....double drool!

                                                2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                  we evolved eating animals and animal fat.
                                                  Balderdash! In evolutionary terms it has been a mere spec of time that any species of homo have derived a significant portion of the caloric intake from animal sources. Also look at our closest evolutionary cousins (chimps, gorillas & orangutans), predominately if not exclusively vegetarian.

                                                  1. re: kmcarr

                                                    Well, we're not chimps, gorillas or orangutans. The evidence is that early homo sapiens evolved as hunter gatherers and were, like modern man, omnivores, not herbivores.

                                                    1. re: kmcarr

                                                      The mainstream of evolutionary biologists suggest that meat was eaten to some degree by our ancestors starting about 2.5 million years ago, and that it has played a significant role in our species' evolution for about 2 million years. In other words, meat's importance in our evolution predates the species Homo sapien, and has been an evolutionary factor for most of the timeline of the Homo genus.

                                                      Of course, most of our ancestors did not eat as much meat as the average American does today, but your characterization of meat eating as insignificant is incorrect (or at least out of line with current scientific thinking).

                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                        Wait, what? We eat more meat now? I remember a great Neanderthal documentary said they consumed about 10k calories a day. Of meat.

                                                        But it also said our brains didn't start growing until we moved to the coast and started consuming fish.

                                                        1. re: pdxgastro

                                                          Yes, in general we eat more meat now than our ancestors did. The Neanderthals were a different species, and technically they were probably not among our ancestors (this is still debated). Their caloric requirements were greater than ours. At any rate, they represent only a comparatively small sample of pre-modern members of the Homo genus.

                                                          At any rate, you shouldn't look at our ancestors as a cohesive group who all ate the same thing. Those who lived on the coast ate fish (usually). Others didn't. In some areas and at some times, pre-modern humans ate quite a bit of meat. But more often than not, it simply was not as available to our ancestors as it is to us.

                                                        2. re: cowboyardee

                                                          I believe if God didn't want us to eat animals he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

                                                        3. re: kmcarr

                                                          We must be reading VERY different sources.

                                                          1. re: kmcarr

                                                            chimps will gladly eat meat if they can get it they do hunt and will even cannibalize their pack-mates.

                                                            we do not have the teeth nor the stomachs of herbivores. we're omnivores.

                                                            most primates spend hours and hours each day chewing vegetation. eating meat, being relatively nutrient-dense, especially once we added cooking fire to the formula, freed us of this and enabled us to keep moving forward.

                                                            1. re: kmcarr

                                                              Unfortunately for the chimps, gorillas, etc they do not rule the world. maybe they should enjoy a good piece of meat more often. just in case the humans drop the ball and things start over.

                                                        4. If the food is meant to have fat, then eat it. I like the fat on a grilled steak, meaning the fat globules along the edges.

                                                          At a Chinese restaurant, my wife ordered duck, which of course came as meat with a layer of fat. She picked off the fat. The waiter said, "You no eat best part." He was right.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: lergnom

                                                            ...and on Top Chef you get raked over the coals by the judges if your duck has fat left on it and/or your duck skin is not shatteringly crispy - even if you had made Chinese-style duck in a style that is *supposed* to have "rubbery skin" with the fat attached. Or at any other time for that matter.

                                                          2. I love the fat on the edge of a grilled rib steak and pork chop. I aloso like pork skin in almost any form - chicharon, in sausage (cotechino), or crisped on a roast.
                                                            As kids, we'd scrape the fat off pig tails when eating boiled dinner, but my dad would collect it off our plates and eat it.
                                                            I like telling the story of sitting at the counter in Schwartz in Montreal. A man, about 80 years old comes in, dressed in the 50s (fedora and trench coat), sits down and orders a plate of "speck". They serve him up a plate of Montreal smoked meat fat. No meat, just fat. He enjoys every bite, smacks his lips, pays, and leaves. I asked the waiter if its on the menu, "naw, but you can order it...mostly its the old guys who eat it" It looked awesome, but I have yet the courage to eat a plate of fat.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: porker

                                                              omg, schwartz's! lol. we were there not long ago and totes loved the smoked meat! my b/f will be so upset he didn't know this was an option!

                                                              1. re: porker

                                                                I was given Bill Buford's book "Heat" a few years back. Its an interesting account of Buford working with Mario Batali. Theres a section where he describes Batali's introduction of lardo, cured pork fat. Batali knows most people cringe at the thought, so describes it as "white prosciutto".
                                                                I never heard of lardo before this and it sounded tantalizing. Sometime later, Mrs Porker and I were in Batali's Babbo NY and Lardo was part of a salumi app - I had to try. White as snow, sliced paper thin, it melted on the tongue. It was indeed similar to the fat found in prosciutto, with different flavor notes, but oh, the texture! Silky.

                                                              2. Depends.

                                                                Marbled fat as part the intramuscular meat, then yes.

                                                                A lob of fat just sort of hanging out there? Nope.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  I can deal with the marbled fat but absolutely positively cannot tolerate attached fat. I trim around fat like I am performing surgery.

                                                                  I was born this way. Everyone in my family is/was fat eaters so I didn't learn to dislike fat. It is a texture thing. My bacon needs to be very crispy and even then, I often trim it so I only eat the meat part.

                                                                2. The meat is the condiment for the fat.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                                    You've never had good meat then.

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                      Oh, yes, I have. But the fat on good meat is even better....

                                                                    2. re: Karl S

                                                                      Indeed it is. What an eloquent way of putting it. Fortunately, my husband does not agree which means more fat for me.

                                                                    3. I think it's an inborn preference, rather than a generational thing. I have always hated the fat, even as a child. No one told me it was unhealthy. I just disliked it. Ditto for the skin on chicken. I just can't get past the texture. I leave the fat on the meat when cooking it, because it certainly adds flavor, but when it comes to eating, I cut it all off.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Isolda

                                                                        I disagree, or rather have a different experience. As a kid, I used to hate the fat on the outside of meat, so my dad would always end up with the fat leftovers from both my sister and me.

                                                                        This is not the case anymore, though I am not fond of big chunks of fat on the outside, particularly when it's not seared well. Also, I wouldn't eat it on its own, but it's perfect with the meat... for me, now that I'm a grown-up (sorta).

                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          I'm with you, linguafood. If fat so much as came near my meat, I wouldn't eat it when I was a kid. I would cut wide swaths of meat around the fat to avoid contamination by fat. But I will eat some fat now, but not big globs. I like bacon as well as the crispy duck skin on the roasts that I make. It no longer scares me, but I wouldn't want a whole mouthful of it!

                                                                      2. > I am a bone sucker.

                                                                        Marry me.

                                                                        When I get served a piece of meat, I try to eat everything on it. Fat, gristle, whatever, it all goes down my gullet. I think it's important to eat as much of the animal as you can stomach if you're gonna kill it.

                                                                        1. I love the fat on Chinese BBQ duck. I love the crispy fatty skin, too.

                                                                          I only like fat on steaks or meat when it is browned. Same with lamb and goat. As Wyogal said, when it is crispy on the outside and melts on the tongue.

                                                                          I don't like chicken fat as much. Although I prefer the fattier thigh pieces, I don't like getting chicken fat globules in my mouth because they have this concentrated chicken under taste.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                            You have summed my opinions up perfectly.

                                                                          2. One of my favorites - Dongpo pork. Pork belly is cut and tied into 2-1/2 inch squares and braised for at least four hours in a mixture of brown sugar, water, shaoxing wine, ginger, soy sauce, and scallions. The long cooking time gets rid of the greasiness in the fat and you're left with the most amazing mouthfeel ... and flavor.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: AntarcticWidow

                                                                              OMG I want this! I want to make this. Sounds amazing!

                                                                              1. re: AntarcticWidow

                                                                                Have you had "kau yuk" (扣肉) ? It's a hakka dish of slices of pork belly ("sam chang yuk") with the alternating fat & lean, slow-braised for hours with one of several alternative cured/pickled vegetables. Take a look here: https://www.google.com/search?q=kau+yuk

                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                  I've had this dish!
                                                                                  And it is quite delicious, especially made with preserved turnip greens. The braised pork belly becomes decadently succulent as a result of the long braise. Amazing stuff!

                                                                                  1. re: The Professor

                                                                                    It *is* a nice dish, isn't it. The slight variations often are region and restaurant specific. Mind you, I need to be "in the mood" for this, and of course would not eat it on a daily basis. :-)

                                                                                    If you have eaten this, I can only suppose that you eat Chinese roast duck as well as Chinese BBQ pork ("char siu") and Roast Pork ("Siu yoke") as I describe in a post below in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8260... .

                                                                                  2. re: huiray

                                                                                    huh. I order this dish at our Cantonese joint, but didn't know the name - I'd just ask our friends to make the braised pork belly with preserved vegetables. The Professor has it right, "decadent".

                                                                                    Speaking of pork belly...I talk about the public market in Merida, Yucatan whenever I can. They call it kastacan and its deep fried whole belly & sold by weight. Sooooo good, especially when still hot.

                                                                                    Once in awhile, I'll make Derreck Dammann's baked/braised belly
                                                                                    its also fantastic.

                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                      was with Mrs Porker and the mother-in-law (Ma Porker) in Chinatown. Thinking about this post and pork belly, I asked our friend George for "pork belly". He says yeah, right, but then 5 minutes later asks "with preserved vegetables, or taro?" For a change-up, I say "taro".
                                                                                      The starchy slices added a new dimension and soaked up the braising sauce nicely.

                                                                                      1. re: porker

                                                                                        :-) Yes indeed, the dish with taro is a common variation. I like it when the taro is not mealy, which can be the case sometimes.

                                                                                  3. i admit it - when i make veal spareribs, beef spareribs, or really tender prime rib roast, i lick my plate clean. meat, fat - if it's tasty i eat it.

                                                                                    1. Yes, always. And if I'm eating by myself or just in the presence of my long-suffering wife, I chew up the bones and suck out the marrow.

                                                                                      1. I always eat the fat, especially the fat on a pork chop, a steak, or a roast. If only the fool butchers in the supermarket didn't trim the meats so much!
                                                                                        I save the fat for last, and savor every tasty morsel, sometimes with a bit of bread. But he bread is definitely optional.
                                                                                        I love pork belly too...my Grandmother used to make "paprikas szolona", which is pork belly simmered with garlic in salty water for an hour or so, and while still hot, dried off and coated generously with sweet Hungarian paprika, which adheres to the outside. It is then wrapped up and cooled in the fridge, and the next day we'd start slicing off pieces and enjoying it with some rye bread (and beer for the adults) as a snack. And maybe some cucumber salad on the side.
                                                                                        Not something to eat all the time, but a great occasional treat. I still make the stuff every once in a while, and it still tastes good!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                                          My parents made this too. It was called "abarolt szalonna" but they did it slightly differently. It was made from a smoked, fatty bacon piece about 3x4 inches simmered with its rind attached. Then it was coated with a paste of paprika and mashed garlic, allowed to chill for a day and then eaten in thin slices on sour rye.

                                                                                          Prof, you must also recall "nyás sütés" or "szalonna sütés", a summer social feature of Hungarian life where a piece of unsmoked bacon similar to that above is slashed in two directions, placed on a pointed green twig and cooked over an open wood fire by each person.

                                                                                          The trick was to keep it at the right point in the flame where the dripping fat would not flame, the meat would not char, the switch would not catch fire and also to be upwind of the smoke.

                                                                                          In the left hand was a piece of rye bread with raw onion bits. As the meat began to bubble, it was brought over the bread and onions allowing the intensely smoky fat to drip off, infusing the bread and onions. .

                                                                                          When done, that is when the bread was soaked and the onion limp, the piece was quickly gobbled and another piece of charged bread came into the play.

                                                                                          After several slices of bread and onions, the fat was rendered out and the bacon was crisp. Then the bacon was sliced and eaten with bread.

                                                                                          Non-Hungarian members of our family refer to this as "droopy bacon on a stick" - pronunciation problems, you know.

                                                                                        2. One of my New Year's resolutions is to eat more lean. But yes...guilty on all counts.

                                                                                          1. To be honest, it depends on my mood. Sometime yes, and sometime no.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              It's a mood thing for me, too. Usually, I'm in the mood. But not always.

                                                                                            2. I love fat! As a kid I wasn't keen on it, but I've since discovered pork fat, roasted or braised until it's like creamy meat flavoured butter. Mmmmmm..... I eat the fat off steak too.

                                                                                              When I stew or poach chicken or duck I remove the fat and skin before cooking and toss it in a bag in the fridge, then occasionally I cut it into pieces and render out the fat (for the duck), or toss it onto a tray and roast until crispy (chicken). I also save and strain bacon fat for later use in cooking (cream of potato soup with bacon drippings as the fat), and have taken to making my own lard.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                try cooking potatoes in the chicken fat. :)

                                                                                              2. More than happy to eat fat on poultry, pork and lamb. But not beef. Just something about the taste and texture.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                  Beef and mutton suet are waxy in nature (calves and lambs fat somewhat less so): rendered, they became tallow, and were used in colder climates for the smelly, smoky candles of the peasantry. So these fats are best appreciated when warm (eg, in mincemeat - you grind up suet and melt it into the mincemeat, and always serve the mincemeat warm). Poultry fat and pork fat aka lard, by contrast, are comparatively healthy animal fats due to their fat profile.

                                                                                                2. There is nothing like the, crispy on the outside, fat of a good ribe eye steak grilled on the BBQ!!

                                                                                                  1. I love the fat.

                                                                                                    In fact, anyone sitting with me at the table will cut their fat and fork it over onto my plate.

                                                                                                    Last week I made a wonderful braised chicken thighs and risotto. Before deboning the thighs, I made sure to pull off the skin and keep it. After the risotto was finished, I fried the chicken skins (weighted with a foil covered brick) in a cast iron pan until crispy, then chopped them up and sprinkled them over the lava like chicken and rice. It added wonderful flavor and a nice crisp texture.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                      You had me @ "last week"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                    2. Returned from France last month with a jar of goose fat to cook my potatoes in. Love lardo from Italy. Find that I can eat way more potato chips than fat. Once slice of lardo - wonderful and enough. One potato chip - forget about it!

                                                                                                      My triglicerides and cholesterol levels are all in a very healthy range. Everytime I pig out on crappy white sugar/white flour carbs I gain weight. :-(

                                                                                                      1. Like others, I like fat when it's crispy and melty, or when it's lardy. I don't like it when it's rubbery, and have found that offputting since childhood. I was the only one in my family who carefully cut all the fat away from steak because it made me gag. Now that I make my own steak, I just make sure I broil or somehow get the fat burnt enough to taste good.

                                                                                                        1. I do! I do! I do! Not huge hunks but the fat around the edge of a pork chop or roast and crispy skin whenever possible. And when my kids leave over the good stuff I steal theirs too.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Disneyfreak

                                                                                                            My kind of woman! It's where the flavor is!

                                                                                                            1. Funny how many of us are particular about different kinds of fat. I'll eat browned/crispy fat on the edge of my pork chop as long as I divide it up between bites of meat enough so the whole bite isn't fat. Melted pork fat, like in carnitas or the chunk of pork shoulder braising in my oven right now, no problem. Cheese, butter, and olive oil I can go to town on. With deep fried foods I can pretty much only happily eat french fries en masse. Battered fish and tempura sometimes sound good but get too oily too fast. I can have 2 or 3 bites of pork belly or seared foie gras before I OD on fat and my gag reflex kicks in, but do better with cool foie torchon. Bacon is best extra crispy. Poultry fat - love crispy skin even if there is a little fat underneath (crispy fish skin too - salmon skin roll, oh yeah), but I don't like too much unrendered fat left under duck skin (unless it is sliced super thin). Duck confit goes back up in the carnitas category.

                                                                                                              When I lived in Bhutan, staff lunch at the hotel would occasionally be slices of pig skin cooked with chiles, served with rice and dal. Or rather, pig skin with about two inches of subcutaneous fat. I couldn't handle it. They didn't differentiate between meat and fat, the fat was considered white meat while the flesh was red. Even creepier when it still had stubble.

                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                Crisped salmon skin, yeah, very tasty.
                                                                                                                One of the most decadent, tastiest things I ate was deep fried pork belly in Merida, Yucatan. There are specialty stalls in the public market which sell it by the kilo. You can get it fresh, still piping hot, skin, fat, and meat. Amazing. Mayans call it kastaCAN

                                                                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                                                                  ...and I forgot about shrimp or crawfish head fat. Love sucking these heads of fat.

                                                                                                                  1. re: porker

                                                                                                                    Oh my, a friend introduced me to the salmon skin roll at the sushi bar, I don't care if it's considered a garbage roll or not, it's one of my favorites. I just love it.

                                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                      Crispy salmon skin is one of the greatest culinary treasures imo. It makes me cringe when people throw it out.

                                                                                                                    2. re: porker

                                                                                                                      Oh my yes, salmon skin! Deeeelicious substance!

                                                                                                                  2. some years ago I read that the animal stores the carcinogens in thier fat. sadly, that I what I think of as I trim fat away. I have been known to scarf some anyway if it is particularly irresistable.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                      Better to buy animals raised without carcinogens.

                                                                                                                    2. ZOMG! What would prosciutto be w/o the fat?

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                        I will spare you the tales of watching people trim off the fat from prosciutto. And not to eat it... (Shudder)

                                                                                                                        1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                          ...or pancetta...or guanciale. *Especially* the latter.

                                                                                                                          Ditto Jamón Serrano...or Jamón Ibérico. :-)

                                                                                                                        2. I was born loving fat. I'm sure fat preferences are genetic. I can remember eating meats as a kid and devouring the fat. I would also suck every last bit of meat and gristle off bones.

                                                                                                                          When I was a little older my family worried about this fat love and I can remember my mother (not Dad though - he's like me) and grandparents always harping on how disgusting fat is and how bad it is for me. I was made to excise every bit of fat (although I was allowed chicken skin) or it would be done for me.

                                                                                                                          I told myself they were right. I told myself I didn't like it. I agreed out loud that anything fatty was awful.

                                                                                                                          Then secretly I would devour any fat I could get my hands on!

                                                                                                                          I'm still a bit embarassed about my fat habit. Generally what I do in company is I make a show of trimming off the larger bits of fat, but make sure that there is still some of that fatty succulence clinging to the egdes of the meat. When I"m alone, I attack it all with gusto.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                            - Hi, my name is Avalondaughter, I'm a fataholic...
                                                                                                                            - Welcome, Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                            Good story!

                                                                                                                          2. Not in abundance but yes fat can be good eating. Crispy fat on a steak or the melt in your mouth fat in a good slice of pastrami just to name a few

                                                                                                                            1. Seems like most people here GULP the fat.

                                                                                                                              1. I always eat the fat, that's the best part! I love it so much my boyfriend (who thinks the fat is disgusting) saves it for me on his plate instead of tossing it! Mmmm...

                                                                                                                                1. In general, yes.

                                                                                                                                  Still, it depends on what type/how prepared and quantity involved. Duck fat on a roast duck? Definitely. Chicken fat? Under the skin, yes; as large blobs, no; as rendered fat especially when as part of the stock/soup or used to make chicken rice, YES. Marbled steaks, definitely. Fat on a steak - prime rib included - in moderation, crispy fat preferred. In cured hams & meats, of course. Crispy pork lardons, YUM! - but on occasion, not as a daily indulgence.

                                                                                                                                  There's a dish that I haven't had in some years - KL Hokkien Mee - that I would dive into in a heartbeat. Google search: https://www.google.com/search?q=kl+ho... . Some images from CH: http://www.chow.com/photos/807289 , http://www.chow.com/photos/803915 , http://www.chow.com/photos/704127 , etc etc.

                                                                                                                                  Then there are other things like Chinese BBQ pork, where the best pieces are the ones that are "poon fei sau" (half fat half lean) especially when properly caramelized; and Chinese "siu yook"/"siu yuk" (roast pork) where, again, the *best* parts are the belly pork pieces with alternating fat and lean, and the bone-on/ribs-on part is extra flavorful. *Of course* the fat should be eaten with the lean. Those who eat only the lean pieces and scrape off or cut off all the fat leave out most of the unctuous flavor and wonderful mouth-feel. :-)

                                                                                                                                  1. If the fat is marbled into the meat then I eat it. If it can be trimmed away then I get rid of it. I did this on a shoulder lamb chop the other day. With Chinese roast duck I take the crispy skin and scrape the fat off as best I can. Then eat the crispy part with some rice. If I make a stew or lamb shank I definitely defat it by pouring off the braising liquid into one of these http://1tess.wordpress.com/2008/06/11...

                                                                                                                                    1. If it's bland, tough/sinewy, & overly gelatinous, I toss it (or treat my dogs with it).
                                                                                                                                      If it's flavorful, lightly crispy, with a nice texture overall - it's mine!

                                                                                                                                      Now that's for red meat. Any & all crispy poultry skin (with fat) is all mine (duck & goose are to die for!!).

                                                                                                                                      1. If I can trim off excess fat from the edge of a steak or pork chop I do. Marbled meat, salmon skin, salumi...bring it on.

                                                                                                                                        One of my most memorable brunches was in London this past May, a sampler plate of salumi and cheese with red wine, topped off with three slices of lardo and bread. Lardo is good stuff, I'm glad I haven't seen it in the States. NO! Don't tell me where to find it!!

                                                                                                                                        1. I was a closet fat eater for the longest time.

                                                                                                                                          Mom would make beef soup and I’d dip my spoon into the fatty marrow and schmear it on a piece of bread, or even just pop it into my mouth and let it melt

                                                                                                                                          When she’d fry pork chops I’d pretend to cut the layer of fat off the outside and then when nobody was looking, I’d munch on it anyway

                                                                                                                                          The fat around a grilled steak is just delicious, when it gets all crispy

                                                                                                                                          The only fat that I don’t like is chicken fat… I mean I’ll cook with it, (can’t make a proper matzo ball without some schmaltz) but I don’t like the texture of the fat on a piece of chicken that hasn’t been rendered out

                                                                                                                                          Now, chicken skin… when cooked till crispy…Gribenes anyone?

                                                                                                                                          I’ve since come out of the closet and now don’t let my husband near a piece of meat that is going toward the grill, because he will with surgeon like precision trim off every ounce of visible fat from the outside of a piece of meat

                                                                                                                                          He even went so far once to carve out that little ‘oyster’ of fat in the middle of a rib-eye steak… blasphemy!

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                                                            "He even went so far once to carve out that little ‘oyster’ of fat in the middle of a rib-eye steak… blasphemy!"

                                                                                                                                            I'd have neutered him!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                              I trim my ribeyes well (I sometimes even carve out that oyster), but only so I can fry up the fat separately for my husband to munch on while I'm cooking the rest of dinner! We like our meat REALLY rare so the fat never seems to get cooked enough if I leave it attached. The best part of this is that I then have plenty of rendered tallow to cook the steak itself!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                  okay, reading that post literally just made me drool!

                                                                                                                                            2. I don't eat fat.

                                                                                                                                              I DESTROY fat.

                                                                                                                                              From the soft, melty strips of creamy fat marbled throughout a hunk of prime rib to the crispy, crunchy chicken skin, no morsel is safe from my grubby paws. I absolutely adore fat in all of its forms and find no guilt in consuming it en masse. I've lost 85 pounds since switching to a fat-rich diet in the past two years, and have great blood work and a healthy body to bolster my claims (and love).

                                                                                                                                              It's been a slow transformation for me; I originally found those peculiarly-textured globules to be incredibly off-putting throughout my childhood and adolescent years. Once a sirloin eater, now a ribeye savorer, I consider this a considerable gustatory improvement. I agree with one of the above posters who remarked that fat was like a condiment for the meat it accompanies; as I've aged and experimented more with different cuts of meats and evolved my palate, I've found myself requiring less sauces and heavy spices in favor of savoring the flavor of the meat and fat as a unit.

                                                                                                                                              That doesn't mean that I shun lean meats like chicken breast, pork loin, and fish, however. I appreciate their lightness in flavor and find it a welcome break from heavier dishes. I definitely include them in my diet. If given a choice, though, you'd have to pry the turkey drumsticks, chicken tails, and pork shoulders from my cold, dead, greasy hands.

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                                                                                                                                              1. re: Baskerville

                                                                                                                                                Hello Baskerville, I don't eat fat for the sake of eating it. There is bennefits to eating some fat. Many vitamins can only be absorbed with with some fat. I would not go as far as to eat chicken tails with greasy hands, but do enjoy bacon with my orange yolked eggs. Thanks

                                                                                                                                              2. Crispy bits? Sure. And I like meat well marbled. But, I do remove the gelatinous pieces. Not a fan of that texture, and if it saves me even a little bit from a cholesterol problem down the road, it's all good.

                                                                                                                                                1. "I think we both know the answer to that" <- Homer Simpson to Bart when Bart asks his Dad if he wants his fat....

                                                                                                                                                  1. No figurative gulp. Just a literal one!

                                                                                                                                                    Fat is tasty. :)))

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                                                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                      Fat is the tastiest for many. My uncle, who raised his own beef briefly, always tasted the
                                                                                                                                                      fat first - he felt if the fat was good so was the meat. I still eat at least some of the fat on most

                                                                                                                                                      Years ago, in NYs Carnegie Deli, a woman at the next table was grilling the waiter about
                                                                                                                                                      the pastrami. "Is it lean?" she asked. "I won't eat it if it's not lean!"

                                                                                                                                                      "Lady," he replied, "if you want lean, order the turkey."

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                        Reminds me of the guy behind the counter in a deli when I was young. I asked about the Pastrami and he asks me

                                                                                                                                                        "You want it lean or do you want it good?"

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                          Reminds me of sitting at the counter at Montreal's Schwartz's years ago.
                                                                                                                                                          This old guy (maybe 70) walks in, fidora and long overcoat, sits next to me and orders a plate of "speck". The waiter serves him a plate of smoked meat fat. No meat, just the seasoned fat. The guy eats the whole plate, smacks his lips, pays, and leaves.
                                                                                                                                                          I'm dumb struck. I like fat, I love fat, but that unadulterated plate was intimidating! Respect to the old guy!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                            Apparently, that "speck" of fat didn't shorten his lifespan.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Yummy yummy crispy fat!

                                                                                                                                                      And soft spready marrow is the best part of any bone that has it.

                                                                                                                                                      (But I don't eat the big chunks of it that are just chewy blobs without crispy bits. And I don't like the taste of non-marrow veal fat. Nasty stuff. I trim my veal chops like a surgeon!)

                                                                                                                                                      1. Ummmmm...Lechon anyone?!?!? It's pure fat and pure delicious. I am for sure a bone sucker and am proud of it, getting all though gritty deicious bits is the best part!

                                                                                                                                                        1. For reasons I will simply lump altogether as "health reasons," I am now eating far less beef on a regular basis than I once did, but what I do eat now is always grass fed, usually Piedmontese but also wagyu. The fat on this kind of beef is as healthy as salmon, so do I eat the fat? You betcha! And then I dip bread in the rendered fat on the grill and enjoy that too. Even my cardiologist smiles benignly. '-)

                                                                                                                                                          1. To answer your question... yes absolutely! Steaks, pork, ribs, chicken, duck... love all of it. Surprisingly no one has mentioned an Indian pork dish called goan pork vindaloo. Hands down some of the best pork fat EVER! Its basically pork w/ the fat cubed and stewed in a mixture of spices. Its fiery and tangy and just amazing. Thankfully my dad makes it when we crave it. And coming from a family of fat eaters, you can bet there's usually a fight over the fat in that dish.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Heck yes. I'm actually sad because my local grocery store is starting to trim pork chops so close. I love that rim of fat!

                                                                                                                                                              1. The Recipe gallery on the right side of the page posts now 38 delicious recipes with bacon!! How very appropriate! :-)

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RUK

                                                                                                                                                                  I hope they include pork belly!!!! :-D

                                                                                                                                                                2. My brother was at Katz's deli and ordered the pastrami extra lean. The guy behind the counter asked him if he wanted it on white bread with mayo.

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                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                    Sacrilege! Rye bread and good mustard! That's it! IMO Carnegie Deli makes the best mustard around, and it's only like $2.50 or so a jar. Fantastic stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                      LOL. Extra lean pastrami is one of the biggest 'fails' in the world of food.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                        When I was quite young, and old guy working in a deli responded to my request for pastrami with the question "You want it lean or do you want it GOOD?"

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah I was standing behind him laughing my ass off at the snide remarks

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Absolutely! Especially at Texas de Brazil when they bring out the freshly charred sliced!!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Not a single bite of it growing up.

                                                                                                                                                                          Then I had a food moment: saw something golden and beautiful at the breakfast line in the CDC (Atlanta) cafeteria. Server told me it's FATBACK. I had trouble with English then so, not understanding what she said, I nodded. It was salty and crispy on the outside and something else when I bit down on it. Now, who said American food was not tasty? What a fool...That was 40 years ago and I have not shied away from pork fat since.

                                                                                                                                                                          I now have several signature dishes using pork belly as the main ingredients. Chunks of belly simmered with Mei Gan Cai (dry pickled Napa cabbage, aged 2 years for full flavor) and served with spicy stir-fried pickled mustard green in a folded steamed bun. Everything in this dish is made from scratch, including the pickles and the leaven buns. The texture and the flavor easily have momofuku ssam's beaten. Another is slab of herb-rubbed belly prepared the "sous vide" way and finished in a hot skillet for crispy skin. Pork belly is also indispensible for my various charcuterie recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                          It's obvious I am a big fan of both the pig and its FAT.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: borntolovefood

                                                                                                                                                                            My late grandmother always used a hunk of FATBACK when cooking greens. Sometimes she would also drop it into a pot of pinto beans and boil it for an hour or two.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                              That's why salt pork exists, to flavor your greens and pinto beans...

                                                                                                                                                                              We call rendered pig fat, pork butter.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. I grew up eating the fat, but for the last three years, a cardiologist has been telling me I'm a heart attack waiting to happen. Guess what? An angiogram showed "no significant sign of disease"! So I asked my doctor if this meant my arteries were clear and that I could basically eat deep-fried fat dipped in fat gravy. He said not quite, but I could indulge a little.

                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: propita

                                                                                                                                                                              A smarter cardiologist would've known that dietary fat doesn't cause atherosclerosis. I know a number of doctors who do, including cardiologists.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                and pork fat, so long as it's not hydrogenated, is a relatively healthy fat. Beef and lamb/sheep fat are more mixed in that regard.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                                  Any animal fat, grass fed or pastured creatures, is especially healthy. Most folks don't realize that even marbled beef has more mono and polyunsaturated than saturated fat. Not that there's anything wrong with unpolluted saturated fat!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. I do, and my DH abhors it. Now, don't get me wrong, when I buy a hunk of fatback, I'm not going to gnaw on it like a Payday bar, but I will use it with abandon to flavor. As for the rind of fat on a good pork chop? Bring it. Crispy bacon? YES PLEASE. I think for many (not all) the fat-phobia is the same reason that drives people to buy sugar free oreos....the perception that it is "healthier".

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, the Snackwell syndrome and fat free yogurt full of sugary crap. Fattened us all up like feedlot cattle.

                                                                                                                                                                                Gimme all the good fat, hold the toast. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. And here comes the Bacon Barter! Bacon as currency!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. My fave part of a rib-eye is that tip with a bit of fat on it. I like when it's a little scorched so the outside is crispy and when you bite on it the fatty juices burst in your mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ooh yes! That is almost pornographic!


                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                      Just had it last night. Husband chars all the fat on the grill, my favorite part of the steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Of course. It especially flavors Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I long for the old days when a good pork chop with a bone had
                                                                                                                                                                                        some nice fatty texture in the meat. It was far better than
                                                                                                                                                                                        even a rib eye beef steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Question: where can I buy some old style chops?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Geeptoo

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.heritagefoodsusa.com/ Or a local farmer, if you're lucky. My favorite breed so far is red wattle.

                                                                                                                                                                                          also: http://www.heritagepork.com

                                                                                                                                                                                          and check out eatwild.com for farmers closest to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I grew up thinking fat as bad (although I loved it) but my mom would trim it to excess. At the butcher, everything was ordered extra lean, skin removed and Chinese take out the roast pork and char siu was always extra learn as well to name a few examples.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I always savoured whatever fat I could get my hands on though. Now, I enjoy freely the charred ends on steak fat, the fatty roast pork pieces, pork chop fatty ends, well marbled bacon to name a few. My hubby hates fat, so more for me. We are the perfect pair I guess!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. And......there is Lardo from Italy, pure, cured pork fat, when smeared on a still warm piece of frfesh from the oven bread, it makes most Europeans wimper and beg for more!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                                                                              Sort of like butter in usage? That actually sounds interesting, and I am in the "cut all the fat off my meat" camp.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                                                                                So delicious! I haven't eaten that in a while. We would render the clean lard again with chopped Onions, keeping it hot until the Onions are nicely browned. Then store the "Schmalz" in a special crock- tub to be eaten on Rye bread. It tastes really great under certain kinds of Cheese too, instead of Butter. If one eats it as is on bread, a bit of Salt sprinkled on top of the bread really brings out the flavor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                One can I say - delicacies of childhood!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. We just ate the last of these last week. Kurobuta pork hind shanks. If you're not going to eat that crisp, succulent fat......I'm not giving you one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. The fat is the best part. I usually trim the fat off after it cooks but before serving bc mrbuffer won't eat it. Then it becomes mine...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll pull the skin off chicken breasts, render it until crispy while the meat is in the oven, eat the crispy skin, and use the rendered chicken fat as a base for gravy. Waste not, want not...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                                                                                                                                                    ...sounds just like my modus operandi!