My daughter left a pound of lard in my pantry when she moved to the UK. I have never in my whole life ever used lard and I knew it was not the same as shortening but really had no idea of what made it different. So I did some research and now for all of you who may have had the same question, here’s what I found. You’re welcome.
The Difference between Lard and Shortening:
- The main difference is what they’re made of. Lard is animal fat (usually pork) and shortening comes from plant-based oils.
- Lard is mostly seen in non-food products while shortening is pretty much only used in foods. Lard can be used in foods and is sometimes used specifically for the distinctive flavour it adds but its main use is in soap.
- Interesting fact – shortening is able to prevent the growth of gluten in wheat products so it is often used in the production of gluten-free foods. Lard is not.
- Procter & Gamble first introduced shortening (Crisco) in 1911.
- When it comes to cooking, lard is most often used for pie crust as its high fat content makes crusts especially flaky. It’s also used to preserve Iberico ham and in Southern foods such as biscuits.
Have you ever used lard?
My mom used to cook with Crisco for her holiday meat pies. I have her recipe that she left for me but I have yet to make it because I want a healthier substitute. Any suggestions?
Very interesting and helpful. I don’t use lard, but my sister-in-law use lard when she fry certain food, because of the flavor. Thanks. Merry Chrstmas.