General Discussion 14

fats used for cooking

seamunky | Mar 7, 201205:50 PM


I am hoping you can provide some insight for me. I am currently living with two Italian friends - one from just outside Rome and the other from Abruzzo. They often distinguish their own practices from common American practices with generalities such as "We don't eat butter with bread." with "We" meaning the general Italian population.

To be honest, it can be frustrating. I try to approach our discussions with an open mind but am often shot down with sweeping "we" statements spoken on behalf of the Italian people.. These discussions usually center around practices which I imagine are common throughout the world.

For example, the consumption of blood. I imagine that throughout the world, in any culture that slaughters large animals such as cows and pigs, the blood is consumed in some form as there's a great deal of it. "Gross. We don't do that in Italy." Really? I know perhaps it may not be as common (such as in America today) but perhaps during traditional/rural/agrarian times?

So what I am really curious about it my friends' most recent comment about my jar of saved bacon grease. I imagine that around the world, saving rendered grease is probably pretty common. My friend's argument was that "we" mostly use oil and since we don't cook as "fatty" there is no grease to be saved. And it wouldn't be saved anyway because our cooking is less "fatty".

I don't pretend to know the cooking habits around the world or of Italy or specifically of Abruzzo. I just thought if I am a humble farmer or worker and a pig I roast renders a lot of fat while roasting, I would save that and use it for something else.

Thoughts? Does anyone know if it is common practice to save rendered fat? How might it be used?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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