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Lard is an animal fat produced from rendering the fat portions of the pig. Lard was a commonly used cooking oil though its use in contemporary cuisine has diminished because of health concerns posed by saturated fat and cholesterol. Lard is still commonly used to manufacture soap. Rendered fat obtained from cows or sheep is known as tallow.

Lard is one of the few edible oils with a relatively high smoke point due to its high saturated fatty acids content. Pure lard is especially useful for cooking since it produces very little smoke when heated and has a distinct and pleasant taste when combined with other foods. Many chefs in fact agree that lard is a superior culinary fat in terms of its possible applications and its taste. Lard also does not contain any trans fat.

Due to its higher melting point than butter, pie crusts made with lard tend to be more flaky than those made with butter. Many cooks now employ both types of fats in their pastries to improve the product's texture and flavor.

Even today, lard still plays a significant role in British, German, Hungarian, Polish, Mexican, Norwegian, and Chinese cuisines. Lard was the commonly used solid fat in the United States prior to the introduction and popularization of Crisco, which is made from hydrogenated cottonseed oil.

Lard sandwich (in Hungarian "Zs�roskeny�r" or "Zs�rosdeszka", in German "Schmalzbrot") is eaten besides beer and is best with salt, onions and paprika.

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