Pig Parts: Leaf

May 9th, 2008
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IMG_4582, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I’m not a baker. As soon as I hear dough is involved, I lose interest. It just always seems like too much trouble and way too messy. I’m sure Tammi will laugh at that – she’s typically pretty horrified by the mess left in my aftermath after a day of cooking. In any case, the most complicated thing I’m likely to bake is a batch of cookies baked from the recipe on the bag of chips.
So, I can only attribute my fascination with leaf lard to my love of the arcane and the porcine. I suppose I just like being reassured of my fundamental belief that everything is improved with the addition of pork.
The leaf, seen above, is a fatty cushioning around the kidneys and loin. When actually inside the animal, it’s compressed around the organs, removed and unfolded, it has this odd, leaf-like shape from which it gets its name.
Bakers I’ve talked to describe the richness this particular lard adds to pie crusts as transcendental. When the pork parts were being split up, I briefly considered going for the leaf, but I decided it’s benefits would be lost on me. Pearls before swine, you might say.

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