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SPANISH LARD FOOD & COOKING ARTICLE

Is Lard Good For You? Iberico Lard – the new alternative to goose fat
by Orce Serrano Hams

Iberico LardThere is much debate about the increasing popularity of lard in modern cooking - having gained a reputation for being "bad for you" lard is now making a comeback . . .

So what is lard?

Lard is basically pork fat, unlike its counterpart beef dripping lard always comes from the pig. Lard is a very pure product as the pig fat undergoes filtering - this is achieved by heating the fat, filtering and then leaving to cool, the end result is a white fat which is ideal for cooking and can be kept refrigerated for up to a year.

Is it bad for you?

Everything in moderation! Lard is a saturated fat and as such health experts advise that the amount consumed should be limited. However lard retains many good properties as it is a completely natural and unrefined product it can also be classed as an "antibacterial" product so can in fact be very good for the body by helping to combat disease. Experts have also found that lard can actually help reduce body fat as it contains linoleic acids (CLA's) The fatty acids found in lard also play an important role in promoting growth and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

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Iberico lard

In recent times lard has been increasingly hard to come by, fifty years ago it was used in almost every kitchen little and often. Although the product is now becoming more recognised as a fantastic cooking ingredient availability is still low. Iberian lard is the finest available although production is still quite rare. Iberian pigs only account for 8% of hams produced in Spain so by the law of numbers the Iberian lard is in short supply! One major benefit of Iberian lard is that it can be classed as "free range" - even more difficult to source but ultimately worth it.

Taste

Lard is all about flavour. Lard from Iberian pigs which are fed on a diet of acorns has an exceptional flavour - the most popular use for lard in Spain is roast potatoes. In the UK goose or duck fat is used, the Iberian fat adds a different flavour altogether. Because pure lard retains the flavour of pork the Iberico taste comes through very well indeed.

Get ready for some fabulous golden roast potatoes next Sunday!

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© Copyright 2008 Orce Serrano Hams - www.orceserranohams.com

Published 24 April 2008

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