How Can I Tell If It's Shortening Or Lard?

Decorating By AKA_cupcakeshoppe Updated 8 Sep 2009 , 5:15am by AKA_cupcakeshoppe

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 5:30pm
post #1 of 11

The cake supply store I go to repackage the products they sell. They buy sacks of flour and put 1 kg in a plastic bag, seal it and label it with the name of their store and the price.

So I went there and looked for shortening. I couldn't find any so I asked the sales lady. She said, "oh. Lard!" I said, "No, it's vegetable shortening." She replied, "We label it lard because our customers don't call it shortening."

I bought a bag and took it home. It looks like shortening, it's white and solid, it has no smell and no taste as far as I can tell.

So how do I know if it's really shortening or lard? BTW, I have tried Crisco before but it's so pricey here 1 kg of "lard" is 60 pesos and a small container of Crisco is 300+ pesos.

10 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 5:47pm
post #2 of 11

Lard that's made with animal fat has a scent to it. If you don't smell something a little stinky when you sniff it, it's most likely vegetable.

FullMoonRanch Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 5:50pm
post #3 of 11

I know lard is rendered pig fat. I wouldn't want frosting made with pig fat!! Vegetable shortening and lard look similar but are different.

indydebi Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 5:53pm
post #4 of 11

Wow, I would think that would be considered mislabeling. What if it was the other way around? What if they labeled 'lard' as 'shortening' because that's what their customers called it? What if a vegetarian thought they were buying a non-animal product?

What if they labeled margarine as "butter"? I grew up calling every yellow stick of fat "butter". If they labeled it that way becasue of people like me, wouldn't that be fraud? Selling me a cheap margarine but calling it butter?

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 5:58pm
post #5 of 11

indydebi, I know, right? But that's how they do it.

Texas_Rose, now that I think about it, it's fairly similar to Crisco in texture and smell. I just hadn't tasted Crisco on its own.

Texas_Rose Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 5:59pm
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Wow, I would think that would be considered mislabeling. What if it was the other way around? What if they labeled 'lard' as 'shortening' because that's what their customers called it? What if a vegetarian thought they were buying a non-animal product?

What if they labeled margarine as "butter"? I grew up calling every yellow stick of fat "butter". If they labeled it that way becasue of people like me, wouldn't that be fraud? Selling me a cheap margarine but calling it butter?




If I'm right, AKA_cupcakeshoppe is in the Phillipines, so they probably don't have the same labeling requirements on their packages as we do here.

Anyhow, when I've bought lard to make masa for tamales, it smells different than the vegetable shortening.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 6:07pm
post #7 of 11

Texas_Rose, you're right again. I'm from the Philippines... everything's pretty loose here, law, rules, etc. Repackaging products is a usual practice here. There was something in the news where they did catch some repackaging company mislabeling sugar (changing the brand to a famous, more expensive brand).

majka_ze Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 6:37pm
post #8 of 11

Properly rendered lard is not really stinky. It has only very slight aroma.
But I suspect what you bought is really shortening. Lard *should* be more expensive than shortening, meaning nobody would repackage lard and say it is shortening. Other way round - why not? icon_smile.gif
All the white vegetable shortening I can buy here is really solid - refrigerated is it hard and left longer out at room temperature you can make dents in it, but it is not really melting.
Lard at room temperature has consistency of spread. Refrigerated it is white, when warmed up (starting to melt), it turns yellow.
To be quite sure: Let melt 1 tablespoon over heat - it will melt and if it is lard, the smell gets much stronger.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 2:18am
post #9 of 11

thanks for the suggestion. i will try that today. it's in the fridge now and it's a hard block.

playingwithsugar Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 2:56am
post #10 of 11

I realize that you're not exactly local to us, so perhaps that's allowed where you are.

Are those packages dated? Do you know what the turnover rate is on that re-packed stuff? A local shop here was selling coconut oil as a repack, and when I got it home, it was rancid. When I called the vendor and told her about it, she acted like I was a liar. I took it back the next day and made her smell it herself.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 5:15am
post #11 of 11

Yes, Theresa. There's a date stamp of when they repackaged it and best used by date.

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