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Lardi, pork fat from the pig’s belly, adds flavor to savory dishes, preserves meat, and enhances sweets in Greek cuisine.

Close-up of Greek ‘Lardi’ is pork fat and white color
Lardi or Glina

Lardi (lard) is pork fat, which is used for both food preservation and cooking. It is made from the fat found in the belly of the pig. The best lard comes from the fat that surrounds the brisket and the kidneys of the pig. It is essentially tasteless and odorless and, unlike cow butter, never hardens too much, even if left in the fridge for hours.

It is suitable mainly for savoury dishes – for baked potatoes, for sauté greens and other vegetables, and for legumes. A couple of tablespoons add a special flavor to all foods. For sweets and ‘kourabiedes’ (‘sugar buns’) it is necessary to use lard. It was used to keep the pieces of salted pork in this fat for the whole year, when there were no refrigerators.

Small pieces of salted pork along with a little fat add authentic flavor to all cooked vegetables, winter soups, pies, and to ‘glikokouloures’ (‘sweet bread’), as it is called at the island of Kea/Tzia. Glikokouloures is the thin bread that is kneaded with lard and baked on a hot, wood-fired oven surface.

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