Somewhere I had read there was a difference between leaf lard and regular lard. Just before we butchered our pigs this week I read again that leaf lard was superior to the other lard, and was what was used to make pie crusts, biscuits, etc. My source came from a tutorial I found on Granny Miller's blog .
When we processed the second pig I asked the boys to keep the leaf lard fat separate from the other, and yesterday rendered them in separate pans on the stove. I was very surprised to see how much quicker the leaf lard fat melted, compared to the other type. Last year I rendered lard and never really understood what the cracklings were, but with the leaf lard they were very easy to see as the fat was almost done rendering. The regular fat seems to stay rubbery much longer, and the leftovers in the pan weren't as crisp as the other cracklings. Maybe I didn't render them long enough, but it seemed like I was working with that fat all afternoon and into the evening and they weren't turning out quite like the other one.
I have more lard to render before I'm done with these pigs, and then it's time to do the tallow from the deer we butchered a few weeks ago. Then I can check that job off of my "to do" list -- which seems to be as long as my summer lists!