Monday, January 18, 2010

Reader in Search of Exotic Lipid

Posted by on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 9:59 AM

For the third time since I started writing about food, a reader is asking where to find caul fat, the uniquely textured lipid from around animal kidneys.

click to enlarge caul_fat.jpg
The lacy texture is ideal for holding together lean ground meat mixtures like meatballs or meat and rice fillings. A Persian meatball was exactly what the first requester was making when she called in the early 1990s. A local Southern girl, she was newly married to a Middle Easterner, and wanted to prepare a special dish. I didn't know where to send her -- even custom butchers didn't have caul fat. I don't expect she found it.

This week's caul request comes from the infrequent Bites commenter manintheyellowhat. Manintheyellowhat wants to make some multi-day, multi-step European thing that calls for pork caul fat, but beef will do. I saw caul fat recently -- I believe at the halal butcher shop in the strip where Elysian Fields meets Nolensville Road. But it may also have been at the Mexican-owned market on Charlotte, or the halal butcher on Thompson Lane near St. Edwards.

Anyone have a confirmed sighting of caul fat, beef or pork?

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