[Sca-cooks] recommendations for fat

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed May 23 14:25:54 PDT 2007

On May 23, 2007, at 10:18 AM, Sue Clemenger wrote:

> I've often wondered, since I've seen it in recipes, but not  
> actually met it
> in the flesh, so to speak, what is so *special* about fat from the  
> tail of
> the animal? Is it of a particular consistency? Are the tails  
> particularly
> fatty? I'm assuming (perhaps erroneously) that the fat would be  
> rendered
> from the tail in much the same way as one renders lard?
> --Maire

I gather that yes, the tails of particular breeds store fat rather  
like a camel's hump. It may be that this fat is more like suet than  
like intramuscular fat, which may (I'm brainstorming here, I make no  
claim to actually knowing what I'm talking about, so bear with me)  
conceivably acquire flavors from the surrounding muscles if  
overworked. I seem to recall seeing pictures of fat-tailed sheep  
breeds  with such fat tails that they've been strapped to little  
wheelbarrows or sleds to support the tail without injury.

The recipes which call for such tail fat seem to always begin with  
some sort of rendering process -- it'll say something like, "cut up  
and fry fresh tail," the way you might render chicken fat or salt  
pork or bacon, remove the cracklings, and then fry some other meat  
and other ingredients in the fat remaining in the pan.

I don't recall seeing any reference to eating the tail meat itself,  
after rendering the fat out. It's probably very good, and just as  
probably causes you to die happy at an early age... maybe this is why  
we don't seem to see too many references to it.


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