May 17th, 2003

Loon

The word for today ... perhaps TMI

OK ... so, I was in the "food industry" for 15 years (doing P.R., gourmet societies, etc.) and I'd recently been noticing something popping up on the Food Network that I really didn't have a mental file for ... this was "Caul Fat" or "lace fat" or "crépine", which appears to be used frequently as a "net" to bind various culinary items. It kind of bugged me that I had this glaring gap in my food knowledge, so I went off "a-Googling" to see what I could see.

While I could find lots of recipies calling for Caul Fat, I was having a difficult time getting either a real solid definition of this or in what forms it is available. Poking around it seems that any animal is a source of "Caul Fat" a thin, lacy netting of fat surrounding (depending on the source I'm reading) either the stomach, the intestines, or the kidneys, but mostly it seems to come from pigs. The best info I was able to find came from HERE, which is part of a site listing Chinese to-go restaurants in the UK!

What I don't get is that if there are so many recipes using this stuff, why can't I find any info on how it's obtained (short of special ordering it from the supermarket meat department). I mean, is there a packaged form of Caul Fat that I've just never noticed at the store? Maybe something tucked in next to the gallon pails of Chitterlings (oh, yes, in Chicago we have these in the local stores).

(sigh) ... sometimes I think I should have gone to C.H.I.C. last year instead of to Chubb ... I might still be unemployed (hire me! Hire Me! HIRE ME!) but I'd probably know all about Caul Fat!


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