Friday, June 29, 2012

Highly Recommended

Recently I received my annual order of leaf lard from my favorite supplier, Dietrich's Meats in Pennsylvania. They make the most luscious lard that comes in these handy one pound containers, shrink wrapped in plastic. I've been getting my precious lard from them for many years, ever since my pie contest winning days. With my latest order I found out from the person on the phone that pie maker extraordinaire, Kate McDermott, also gets her leaf lard from Dietrich's. I'm in good company!




The employee from Dietrich's who took my phone order had an interesting accent that I couldn't quite identify. That sweet and enthusiastic lady on the phone, who I suspect was the proprietor on the company's homepage, emphasized to me the high quality of all their meat products. The animals are well raised and the meat is processed without nitrates or other preservatives. She talked on about buying locally raised foods and the importance of pure ingredients for quality production. She was preaching to the choir and it didn't take any convincing for me to add some samples of their artisan meat to my lard order.
When I unpacked my shipment I could tell immediately that this was the real stuff- hand-made the old-fashioned way. Packed in cotton bags and carrying the strong aroma of an ancient and well-used smokehouse, my boys and the dog couldn't keep their noses away from my sausage samples.

This was not an Oscar Meyer bologna!




Since we love our bacon I ordered a few pounds and I have to say it was by far the best bacon I have ever bought. We have had many kinds of home raised, hardwood smoked and cured bacon from different butchers over the years but this bacon stood out from the crowd. It was almost like a prosciutto it was so beautifully cured and precisely and thinly cut. The color and texture of it testified to the quality of the pig and the processing. Sam and I actually tasted a piece right from the paper. It was tender and delicate like an Italian prosciutto.



I decided that this premium bacon was going to be eaten only as a special treat when its flavor could shine on its own. I cooked it up for BLT's on my freshly made sourdough bread. The flavor of the bacon was delicate and not overly salty and made a delicious sandwich.




I used the leaf lard to make some oven-fried potatoes to accompany our sandwiches. I couldn't help but remember my grandmother at her stove in her northern Minnesota kitchen when I ate this comfort food. Delicious!

3 comments:

  1. Drooooool!

    Can you imagine if those local specialties were the norm everywhere, like they were once upon a time? Sigh... sometimes I dream of that.

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    Replies
    1. ...aaand instead, everyone wants (or thinks they want) consistency and "safety" regulations, so we have Oscar Meyer.

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    2. Yes, you were born too late because there was a time when it was, back when appliances and cars weren't made of plastic and lasted more than five years. That time will never come again. :-( There are other places in the world where it is still like that though! I hope that Dietrich's is passing their ages old skill and knowledge to the next generation and that they continue to do business for many years to come. As long as the Dept. of Ag. stays out of their way.

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