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The Glories of Lard: A Conversation With Ernest Miller of Coast Packing Company

September 11, 2018

I’ve known Ernest Miller, corporate chef for Coast Packing Company in Vernon, for about a decade. I first met him when he took a chocolate-making class at my wife’s old store, The Road Less Traveled, in Santa Ana. The two ended up taking master food preserving classes in San Bernardino, way before canning became a thing. And Miller’s culinary star has only gone up since, as someone who specializes in food history, preservation and classes.

It’s muy chido, then, that Coast Packing Company became a sponsor for KCRW’s inaugural #TortillaTournament. Miller will demo at the afternoon grand finale Sept. 16 at the LA River Center & Gardens. In the meanwhile, though, he took time to answer some questions about lard, Coast’s bread-and-butter (as it were). Make sure to follow Miller on Twitter @RLMProvisions

First off, please tell the world once and for all why lard is actually good for you and why we shouldn’t believe the haters.

Lard has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. For example, the oldest written document (4,200 years old) at Oxford University, one of the leading research libraries in the world, is a Sumerian clay tablet referring to 22 large jars of lard.

Many don’t realize how central lard was to so many cuisines. Not just European cuisines (and subsequently their colonies) but in many of the cuisines in Asia, such as China and Vietnam. Lard was the fat on which humanity was built.

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