is an animal fat produced from rendering the fat portions of
the pig. Lard was a commonly used cooking oil though its use
in contemporary cuisine has diminished because of health
concerns posed by saturated fat and cholesterol. Lard is
still commonly used to manufacture soap. Rendered fat
obtained from cows or sheep is known as tallow.
Lard is one of the few
edible oils with a relatively high smoke point due to its
high saturated fatty acids content. Pure lard is especially
useful for cooking since it produces very little smoke when
heated and has a distinct and pleasant taste when combined
with other foods. Many chefs in fact agree that lard is a
superior culinary fat in terms of its possible applications
and its taste. Lard also does not contain any trans fat.
Due to its higher melting
point than butter, pie crusts made with lard tend to be more
flaky than those made with butter. Many cooks now employ
both types of fats in their pastries to improve the
product's texture and flavor.
Even today, lard still
plays a significant role in British, German, Hungarian,
Polish, Mexican, Norwegian, and Chinese cuisines. Lard was
the commonly used solid fat in the United States prior to
the introduction and popularization of Crisco, which is made
from hydrogenated cottonseed oil.
Lard sandwich (in Hungarian
"Zs�roskeny�r" or "Zs�rosdeszka", in
German "Schmalzbrot") is eaten besides beer and is
best with salt, onions and paprika.