Lard is a type of fat which is derived from pigs specially bred for this purpose. The fat is obtained from the fatty tissues under the skin. The Lard is removed from the fatty tissues by a process known as Rendering.

The quality of Lard varies according to which part of the pig it comes from. To prevent rancidity, Antioxidants are usually added, and the lard can also be modified to improve its baking qualities.

Lard is very bland to taste and is quite frequently used as shortening in the making of pastries, and in its pure form is also used for deep and shallow frying.


Other names: Pig Fat
Translations: Speķis, Taukai, Untură, Salo, Mở heo, Smalec, Reuzel, चरबी, Banha de porco, Сало, Λαρδί, شحم الخنزير, 라드, Sádlo, Сало, Mantika, 猪油, Llard de porc, Svinjsko mast, Sadlo, Strutto, שומן, Ister, Lemak babi, ラード, Saindoux, Schmalz, Svinefedt, Smult, Manteca de cerdo, Сало, Laardi, Свинска мас

Physical Description

Lard is generally thick and white. It is solid before melting and resembles a white butter in physical appearance and texture. It is mostly flavorless.

Colors: white

Tasting Notes

Flavors: flavorless
Mouthfeel: Oily, Greasy, Thick
Food complements: Pie crust, Onions
Beverage complements: Beer
Substitutes: Butter, Shortening, Margarine, Bacon fat, Vegetable oil

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Buying: Available at most grocers and commonly found as a fat staple in some countries.
Procuring: To make your own, take 1 pound cut-up pork fat in 3/4 cups water then boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain.

Preparation and Use

Lard is used as a shortening for baking and is ideal for frying because of its high smoke point.

It's the fat of choice for making flaky pie crusts, thought it's not as flavorful as butter.

Conserving and Storing

Store in a cool dark place.


In the 1990s and early 2000s, the unique culinary properties of lard became widely recognized by chefs and bakers, leading to a partial rehabilitation of this fat among "foodies". This trend has been partially driven by negative publicity about the trans fat content of the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in vegetable shortening.

History: Lard has always been an important cooking and baking staple in cultures where pork is an important dietary item, the fat of pigs often being as valuable a product as their meat. However, it is prohibited by dietary laws that forbid the consumption of pork, such as kashrut and halal.
During the 19th century, lard was used in a similar fashion as butter in North America and many European nations. Lard was also held at the same level of popularity as butter in the early 20th century and was widely used as a substitute for butter during World War II. As a readily available by-product of modern pork production, lard had been cheaper than most vegetable oils, and it was common in many people's diet until the industrial revolution made vegetable oils more common and more affordable. Vegetable shortenings were developed in the early 1900s, which made it possible to use vegetable-based fats in baking and in other uses where solid fats were called for.
By the late 20th century, lard had begun to be considered less healthy than vegetable oils (such as olive and sunflower oil) because of its high saturated fatty acid and cholesterol content. However, despite its reputation, lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight. Unlike many margarines and vegetable shortenings, unhydrogenated lard contains no trans fat. It has also been regarded as a "poverty food"



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