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Where to buy "real" lard?

I'm curious about doing some cooking with lard, but it's my understanding the lard in grocery stores is hydrogenated and lard that's untreated isn't? Does anyone know if Whole Foods or Central Market carries the real deal?

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  1. not sure, but dai due carries the real deal.
    you can pre-order it and pick it up from their kitchen downtown, or at the farmer's market.

    1. I remember this thread coming up before... I believe the general consensus was to check out Mexican markets, which often render their own:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/464131

      1. As noted, Dai Due has it, freshly rendered. You can pick it up at various farmer's markets, Republic Square on Saturday, the Triangle on Wednesday.

        Fiesta usually carries it as do various other Hispanic meat markets. Look/ask for "manteca".

        1. You can also buy 50/50 pork mix for cheap at many places around town - I think we got ours here: http://johnnygbutcherblock.com/sc/sto... - and render your own lard. It's really easy, and your house will smell like a gently bubbling pig for days after. Plus, cracklings for cornbread.

          2 Replies
          1. re: addlepated

            50/50 will work, but you'll get much better lard by rendering just fat with minimal skin attached, preferably leaf lard. Back fat is good,too.

            1. re: addlepated

              I bought a container of something that appears to be lard from the Mi Pueblo market near Pflugerville. Some of the containers had particulate matter at the bottom. Nobody spoke any English but it only cost me $2.30. All I could get out of the guy is that it's from pork. My only concern is that it wasn't refrigerated. I will experiment and report back. Fried chicken and fries this weekend!

            2. +1 on Dai Due. I've bought it a couple times - it's very tasty, as it comes from high quality pork from local farms. The only hitch you might run into is that it might not be cost effective if you need a lot, like if you're using it to fry carnitas or something. If that's the case, I'd go for the lard at Fiesta.

              1. The problem I've noticed with the lard from the Mexican markets is that's already been used a few times to fry the chicharrones. The whole cauldron is just skimmed of liquid fat when it gets too full, so some of that could have been in there for weeks. Or months. And it's not exactly fresh tasting. And as somebody noted, it ha sediment in it.

                It would be nice to find a source that renders lard as is without also using it to fry, and without paying $12 pint.

                I've had the best luck buying bulk raw pork fat at the Asian markets. Most other places save their fat and use it to make sausages (or chicharrones).

                1 Reply
                1. re: sqwertz

                  This was my experience. I could smell that it had been used once I opened the container. I won't be buying from them again. Really disappointed. Most of it had to be thrown away, just too much left over fried stuff in the container. Made me wonder if it was even legal to sell used food oil like that.

                2. For those of you who make your own... did it stink?

                  I rendered down some pork fat once and whew, the smell. I used it to make tamales and could still smell it while they were cooking. I wasn't able to eat them because of that but noone else noticed.

                  The fat did not smell strange while raw. I bought it from the only meat market in Marble Falls and paid a pretty penny for it.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: thymetobake

                    It smelled, but it wasn't terrible. It was like an intense bacon smell, and it faded after a day or so. It probably depends on your house and how it's vented.

                    1. re: addlepated

                      It probably depends on individual olfactory senses as well. You know, like cilantro and taste buds.

                      I'll check out Fiesta next time I'm in Austin. Would much rather buy it, I think. Then again, everyone loved the tamales. I can't boil shrimp with the heads on and head and eat them at the table, either. It's just a psychological thing. If someone else rendered the lard for me I'm sure it wouldn't bother me at all.

                    2. re: thymetobake

                      Yes, it's known to stink. Maybe only 1/3rd as bad a simmering tripe (or worse - shitterlings), but yes - it's something most southerners do outside on the turkey fryer or side burner of the gas BBQ.

                      -sw

                    3. I've seen it at El Rancho supermarket on Berkman & 290 (formerly Randall's)

                      1 Reply
                      1. Almost all lard you find at the grocery store has been hydrogenated. You need to look for it in the refrigerated sections to find real lard. You could render it yourself.
                        How to render lard. http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/200...

                        1. Dai Due sells lard at the farmers market downtown. You'll need to pre-order and pick up on a Saturday morning. www.daidueaustin.com. It's local, non-hydrogenated lard. My pie crusts have never been better.

                          1. Salt & Time sells clean on site rendered Lars $5 a container.