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Nov 12, 2012 05:21 PM

Leaf lard in Raleigh?

Hey y'all--
For years now, I've been buying lard (for my turkey day pies!) at the Nahunta shop at the state farmer's market. But I keep reading that leaf lard is even better than plain old--does anyone have any ideas about where I might be able to find some in the Triangle area? I'd prefer Raleigh, but could probably come up with a list of cross-Triangle errands, if I had to justify a drive . . .

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  1. Lisa, I'm so intrigued. What in the world is leaf lard?
    BTW, a recent "Splendid Table" show was all about the wonders of lard; so enjoyed that discussion.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tehama

      I think it comes from around the kidneys. Not sure why it's supposed to be special--often my brain remembers "try this," but doesn't hang on to the why. :-)
      Thanks for the Splendid Table tip; will download & listen (love that show).

      1. re: lisarosen

        Leaf lard is a visceral fat (occurs around the organs) as opposed to fat formed under the skin. Leaf lard has a purer flavor (very little pork tones) and is the hardest, firmest lard - both qualities a plus for pastries.

        Not positive, but I think I have seen it in some of the Hispanic groceries in Raleigh.

    2. It looks like you can order leaf lard via this site in Western NC:
      Click the "order now" and on the right, there's a list of best sellers (leaf lard being close to the top!). This was a new one for me, thanks for sharing!

      7 Replies
      1. re: AmyInNC

        I'll probably be going home to Western NC around Thanksgiving; maybe I can pack up a cooler and bring us back some things from Rock House if they aren't too far off of I-40 as I'll be going right by Morganton when I go home! Looks pretty awesome, actually!

        1. re: Tehama

          I agree! I'd make a trip just to visit! :)

          1. re: Tehama

            If you decide to stop there, lemme know. Wish I'd known about it last week when I drove to A'ville!

            1. re: lisarosen

              I totally will be going during Thanksgiving weekend. Email me at meredith 27605 at gmail [no spaces] If you can tell where it is off of 40, I am absolutely delighted to stop for you and me both! For sure!

          2. re: AmyInNC

            One thing I noticed when reading about this topic; apparently there is rendered and non-rendered leaf lard. If you're looking for rendered, you may want to ask first, just to make sure.

            1. re: AmyInNC

              Rendering fat or lard is not that difficult, but do a wet method like the one below


            2. re: AmyInNC

              Thanks for the link, Amy. I'll definitely be checking them out.

            3. I would definitely check with local butchers (not nahunta) or talk to someone at your favorite farmers market.

              1. Good lard improves texture and consistency in baked goods, so good for you.

                There are a couple of local farmers who sell lard, the good kind you have to keep frozen.

                One is Fickle Creek. Another is Coon Rock. At one point Coon Rock had schmaltz, which I suspect is exactly what you're looking for. Both had an excellent product.

                I regularly buy lard from folks like these, it is vastly superior to anything I've been able to buy in stores.

                5 Replies
                1. re: fussycouple

                  Not to quibble, but U.S. usage of schmatz has always followed the Yiddish meaning in my experience. The Yiddish meaning is rendered fat from a fowl, most commonly chicken or goose. Lard (the noun) always refers to fat from a pig.

                  1. re: meatn3

                    a) you are right, and b) what I bought from them was in fact rendered chicken fat, which I thought might go well with her pies, since it's so smooth.

                    1. re: fussycouple

                      Gottcha! Good to know there is local schmaltz being made available.

                      1. re: fussycouple

                        Schmaltz will not work as well as lard. I asked about this to King Arthur bakers when they were here last month. Better to use lard or they used chrisco (I think)

                    2. re: fussycouple

                      Thanks, fussycouple. I'll check with both of those. Maybe I should trek over to Carrboro or Durham on Saturday. Hmm--this may lead to Cafe Prost pretzels for breakfast. Yum.