Raw Animal Fat

Making potteryHave you even seen fat, raw and blobby? Maybe as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s obesity reduction campaign? Maybe on a TV show about liposuction? Maybe after bacon grease congeals?

I’ve seen it. I’ve worked it from a semi-solid to a mixable paste. Nothing makes you think about what you’re eating quite as dramatically as working fat globs into something more like soft butter.

In Paraguay, one of the common ingredients is raw animal fat, rather than butter or vegetable oil. In the end, it still gives baked goods a great consistency and tastes amazing, but it does make you think about your middle section. Is that whole cup going to end up right on my stomach?…is usually what I ask myself.

Baking with the señoras here has brought me back to the basics, in terms of what we actually use to give our food the taste and texture it has. In Paraguay, there is an abundance of the real thing—raw milk, raw animal fat, fresh eggs, and fresh meat (just killed minutes before cooking).

I still eat cookies, but since coming to Paraguay visions of fat globs dance in my head when I do. I know that butter and raw animal fat is the same thing in the end, but for some reason raw animal fat gives me an unpleasant visceral reaction while butter makes my mouth water. I’m used to fresh meat and raw milk, but the animal fat makes me pause every time.