Exciting news! VIVA, Our Best Lard, is now available in a convenient 2.5 lb tub on Amazon!

February 15, 2023

Teresa Cardin's Gluten-Free Triple Berry Crostatas Take the Cake in Coast Packing’s 6th Annual #LardLovers Recipe Contest

Teresa Cardin's Gluten-Free Triple Berry Crostatas Take the Cake in Coast Packing’s 6th Annual #LardLovers Recipe Contest

Completing a Trifecta of Sweet Treats, Connecticut’s Sarah Meuser Claims 2nd Place For Spiced Chocolate Orange Snickerdoodles as Iowa’s Jacqueline W. Riekena Nabs 3rd for Butter Pecan Stars

VERNON, Calif. (February 15, 2023) – In its sixth go-round showcasing heritage fats, Coast Packing’s #LardLovers Recipe Contest has bestowed top honors (and prizes) on a trio of enterprising home cooks, led by Teresa Cardin of Pyatt, Arkansas, whose Gluten-Free Triple Berry Crostatas secured the top spot. 

Also in the winner’s circle: Spiced Chocolate Orange Snickerdoodles, from Sarah Meuser of Connecticut, and Butter Pecan Stars, by Jacqueline W. Riekena of West Des Moines, Iowa.  They join some 50 others around the nation in Coast’s annual tribute to the versatility and creativity of one of America’s favorite ways to prepare food. 

A showcase of what the venerable animal fat can do in the hands of talented home chefs, Coast Packing’s #LardLovers Contest draws its inspiration from the annual December 8 observance of #NationalLardDay, organized by the Healthy Fats Coalition — a celebration of a traditional, flavorful animal fat, pure lard, derived from pork, that is enjoying a resurgence within America’s food culture, in restaurants (especially those featuring ethnic specialties), fast food operations and home kitchens.  

Setting this year’s competition apart is Coast’s Centennial Edition ”Share the Flavor” tribute.  Complementing the recipe and a photograph, entries included an essay of 50-200 words on the following: “What do animal fats mean to you: a rich tradition, a fond memory, or a sweet recipe?” 

Judging the contest was a small group of culinary professionals from Coast, led by Corporate Chef Greg Hozinsky, who selected winners based on flavor, creativity/originality and visual appeal. Prizes were awarded for First, Second and Third Place: 1st Prize,Family Traditions Bundle (MSRP $425)  5-Piece Ruffled Bakeware SetStoryworth Standard Package and Drippings Jar;  2nd Prize, Family Dinners Bundle ($380) GreenPan Slow CookerVintage Blacksmith Lazy Susan and Vintage Blacksmith Flatware Caddy3rd Prize, Heirloom Recipes Bundle ($145) Personalized Recipe BoxPersonalized Family Recipe Cutting Board and The Settlement Cookbook.  The total approximate retail value of all prizes combined is $950. 


1st – Gluten-Free Triple-Berry Crostatas with Crumb Topping, Teresa Cardin

“In a world that is increasingly defined by artificial everything—artificial fats, artificial sweeteners, artificial Christmas trees, and now even art, music, and literature created by AI — it’s important to find ways to live authentically. When I use lard in my recipes, I’m tapped into a tradition of culinary authenticity that connects me with my mother and grandmothers, who taught me traditional cooking as I was growing up in the Missouri Ozarks. There is also the simple fact that lard makes for truly delicious foods.”

Teresa Cardin

From Chef Greg:Very tasty, even though I’m not usually one to pick a gluten-free option. The recipe was accurate and easy to follow — a bit more elegant than the other two; it’s more of an actual dessert/dish. Using lard in both the crust and the crumble, which I really liked.  Eating this was an enjoyable experience.”

Spiced Chocolate Orange Snickerdoodles by Sarah Meuser

2nd – Spiced Chocolate Orange Snickerdoodles, Sarah Meuser 

“My oldest son has multiple food allergies, so I’ve taught myself how to bake without using dairy or eggs. The depth of flavor in these cookies, which have a deliciously crunchy exterior surrounding a chewy interior, combined with the luxurious mouthfeel from the lard, instantly made them a new family favorite.”

Sarah Meuser

From Chef Greg: “Very good taste, I was a little skeptical because it contains no egg or dairy, but it worked great!  Very easy to make, creative use of the ingredients, and uses a good amount of lard. Because it is spiced, this recipe would be great in the fall and winter.”

Butter Pecan Stars by Jacqueline W. Riekena

3rd – Butter Pecan Stars, Jacqueline W. Riekena

Centennial Edition essay

“Growing up on a farm in Oklahoma, we raised hogs and rendered our own lard, which was used from frying chicken, sausage and eggs to baking pies, cakes and cookies.  Stars are kind of my signature; my family has lost heroes in every war and two of my children are currently serving in the Armed Forces. I believe an angel lights a star for every hero in heaven. This recipe has evolved into an annual tradition to remember our loved ones over the holidays.”

Jacqueline W. Riekena

From Chef Greg: “Excellent taste and pretty easy to execute.  The recipe does contain a small amount of store-bought product (melted ice cream) but it’s minimal, used in both the cookie and the icing. Very good flavor, attractive, and simple, not complicated.“

“Our Sixth Annual #LardLovers Contest was timed with the conclusion of Coast’s centennial celebration, and the results couldn’t have been more gratifying — or more delicious,” said Eric R. Gustafson, Coast Packing CEO.  “The Centennial Edition essays added a dimension to this year’s competition and served to remind us why animal fats have been so popular for so long.  It’s also why our mantra really is, ‘Praise the Lard.’”