For Immediate Release
In Their Own Words, Coast Packing #LardLovers Recipe Contestants Find Comfort in Cooking with Farm Fats During the Pandemic
Home Chefs Reflect on Why Flavorful, Lard-Friendly Dishes Make the Season Right
If there was ever a season for comfort food, this one is it – and as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its tenth month, contestants in Coast Packing Company’s Fourth Annual #LardLovers Recipe Contest have found rewarding new ways to make the most of their time at home… especially in the kitchen.
Acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 on the food scene this year, Coast Packing — the West’s largest supplier of animal fat shortenings — asked contestants to write in 25 words or less how the pandemic has affected their willingness to experiment with ingredients from days of yore. Many responded with poignant insights and fond recollections:
“The pandemic made it clear to me that it’s important to rely on good old-fashioned practices in daily life. Growing and eating vegetables from your garden or supporting your local farmers and purchasing their products is easy to do and feels rewarding. Cooking with lard is the right thing to do since it is an authentic farm fat. Lard gives a wonderful flavor to many recipes I cook for my family.” – Renata Stanko, Lebanon Ore., this year’s second place winner in the savory category
“The pandemic is actually what introduced me to lard! I’ve had more time to spend in the kitchen on more complex recipes, which have definitely opened my eyes to the farm-to-table and slow food movements. Great food isn’t usually fast.” – Amanda Knutson, Noblesville, Ind.
”No doubt this year has been difficult, but it has brought our family closer. Through the challenges of cooking, [using] an authentic farm fat like lard has made preparing meals easier and actually more affordable.” – Brenda Watts, Gaffney, S.C., last year’s overall contest winner
“The pandemic put my cooking to the test. While experimenting with lard, I found that it makes a flakier pie crust with regular all-purpose flour. I have been honing my baking skills, along with tips & tricks along the way, making me more confident.” – Chelsea Madren, Fullerton, Calif., this year’s winner in Coast’s Tweet-to-Win contest
“During the pandemic, I have been able to spend more time baking, and also going through old family recipes. I found that many contained lard, so I decided to give it a try. Now, I couldn’t be without it!” – Renee Conneally, Northville, Mich., this year’s second place winner in the sweet category
“This was the first time I had made my own pie crust, as I had always believed pie crusts were difficult to make. This could not have been easier and it tasted delicious!” – Fiona Green, Keller, Texas
“I’m an avid home baker and have a new-found appreciation for versatile ingredients such as lard. It is often overshadowed by butter, but is less expensive and offers some tasty benefits to home-baked goods.” – Tiffany Aaron, Quitman, Ark., 2017 winner in the sweet category
“It has been especially difficult this year to find simple ingredients such as butter, flour and sugar. I’m so happy that I’ve always kept an ample supply of lard on hand because it stores so well and is economical, versatile and delicious!” – Kellie Braddell, West Point, Calif., last year’s third place winner
About Coast Packing Company
Coast Packing Company (coastpacking.com), a closely held corporation, is the number one supplier of animal fat shortenings – particularly lard and beef tallow — in the Western United States. The company sells to major manufacturers, distributors, retailers, smaller food service operations, leading bakeries and lesser concerns. The company participates actively in various ethnic markets – from Hispanic retail chains, with its VIVA brand, to various Asian specialty markets. Based in Vernon, Calif., Coast Packing Company is regional, national and, increasingly, global. In some cases, supplier relationships are multigenerational, extending back 50 years and more.