The Truth About Lard In Mexican Cooking

Mexican food is a delight for the senses in so many ways. For starters, it's got a bunch of flavors. Plus, as SBS points out, Mexican food is made with interesting ingredients such as chiles, oregano, coriander, garlic, onions, lemon, and more. Beans and corn are also prominently found in the cuisine. No matter what part of the country you're visiting, you're likely to find a variety of dishes. For example, in northern Mexico, meals could be made with beef or with more obscure delicacies such as goat and ostrich meat. 

In terms of the fat used in Mexican dishes, lard has been a prominent ingredient for ages. According to The Spruce Eats, traditional chefs often prefer using pig fat instead of oil or butter to lend authenticity to the dishes. Lard is also used to elevate classic Mexican recipes. As Mexican Please notes, lard can make dishes like tortillas and refried beans taste a lot more flavorful and delicious.

Lard is a delicious addition to Mexican dishes

According to Los Angeles Times, lard works really well for authentic Mexican food items, such as tamales, because of the fact that it makes the dish fluffier and tastier. Commercial lard, though, isn't too appealing and doesn't come close to the taste of homemade lard. In terms of prominence, cooks in Mexico are now using alternatives such as vegetable oils because lard tends to be pricier. 

A Quora user offered more perspective on this topic. "For home cooking, by far the most commonly used oil for cooking is vegetable oil," wrote John Lee Ward. "Mexican street food will often use lard (Think carnitas!). Also, in very traditional homes where beans [are] made from scratch and consumed as a staple, lard will be used. In these households, both lard and vegetable oil will be in the pantry." Another commentator on Quora explained that many cooks have switched to healthier options like olive oil. Either way, if you love Mexican food, it's probably best to keep lard on hand for a more traditional experience.