Found Fat and Pupik Update

Joy of joys, today we found a shop that has and is willing to sell us their pork fat.  I was so happy.  It was very cheap, about $1.50 per kilo.  So now I will never have to worry about where to find fat for rendering, unless they go out of business.

They say they’re not the only ones.  You have to find a place that buys by the side and ask for the internal fat.  If you ask for the fat, they think you want what most other people want, which is the fat back, not the other subcutaneous and inner fat.  So you have to be specific.

The same place has “pupik” (gizzards) that looked very nice, so I thought today was as good a time as any to try them, since now I’ve got the grease to fry them in.  My daughter loved them, and is now devouring them with ketchup like chicken nuggets.  I would eat them on a salad, but much like other chicken nuggets, wouldn’t bother much about them otherwise.  Shai (my husband) said they were too chewy, and not like his mom used to do.

So now I have a quest, but one I don’t think I’m going to like.  I was instructed by every home cooking southern woman I know to always ALWAYS pre-boil gizzards.  Every eastern Asian cook I know says the same.  Apparently, non southern and non Asian folks don’t do that.   I don’t want to think about what it must taste like.  There has got to be some way to be sure to clean off all the gooey membrane and still come out with tender results.

I’m thinking that they must need to be slow cooked.  I hate to call other cooks wrong, but I just don’t see how they’ll get thoroughly clean without the pre boiling.  So with kilo #2 of the pupiks, I’m going to try preboiling, cleaning, and then slow cooking them.  We’ll see how it goes.

Slimming with Schmaltz

The debate as to which is better, animal or vegetable based fats, is as yet ongoing.  It’s impossible for someone who isn’t a biologist to parse the information correctly, so for my own efforts, I looked into the past.

First off, deep fried foods were rare, as this was considered a waste of oil/fat.  Fat was considered, and actually is, an important part of a healthy diet.  The fat you eat, and excess calories that your body converts to fat are needed for your eyes, skin, and organs to function properly.

It seems however, that the difference between quality fat and junk fat is whether or not it is natural for the body to digest and metabolize it.  So any naturally rendered fat is going to be better than fats that require any machinery other than a press and a pot to get it.

Think about it: corn has almost no fat, yet there is corn oil.  Though paleo diet purists are against corn or other cultivated grains, nutritionally and ecologically you’re better off eating a corn pancake fried in a little bacon grease or grass fed cow butter than the same corn pancake fried with corn oil.  Cornbread made with the minimum amount of butter or lard to make it moist would be even better.

Now, for the anecdotal evidence from my own efforts.  I’ve begun to lose weight faster, and have more energy, since I rolled back to what I like to call the “Grandma diet”.  The fats I use for cooking are butter, lard, cold pressed olive oil, or yellow/orange palm oil when I can get it.  For spreading, it’s either butter or olive oil.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should go and make chips in lard or something.  Just, when you make your soup, use a little lard or chicken schmaltz to sweat your onions.  For the toasts to go with it, sprinkle on a little olive oil or a third to half pat of butter per slice of bread.  Bread isn’t supposed to be so good for you either, but the French eat it and still don’t drop like flies.  So in moderation, carbs are alright…same with fats.

What I haven’t done yet is had blood tests done to see what all this is doing for my organs.  If the outside is any indication though, I look and feel better, so I expect good news when I do.  I’ll scan my stats and post them when I do it because I’m curious to see if there’s improvement since last year.

Try the schmaltz thing though, and see if you like it.  I think you will.  It has certainly reduced my portion sizes and my frequency of hunger.  It seems to have also increased my energy.  I’m not a napper anymore, and I’m working more efficiently.