Hello and welcome to this tiny slice of the interweb I christened Lardmouth; which in a funny way, tells my story.
In a funky little beach-town close to where I live in Southern California stands a throwback to a simpler time; a small, much-loved vegetarian food co-op known for its good-natured pro-vegan agenda. In a beneficent gesture aimed at perhaps, slightly less evolved individuals, eggs and dairy products are offered for sale downstairs in the cold case. If you refrain from calling particular attention to it, your cashier will refrain from turning a jaundiced eye on the raw Gouda you may or may not have attempted to obscure with a jar of almond butter in your cart.
Upstairs in the deli, for some reason no one can quite discern, there’s an altogether different tolerance policy. If you know what’s good for you, once your foot clears the final stair and treads the upstairs landing, you won’t even think about asking the staff for “pilfered calf nourishment” in place of the soy/almond/rice or hemp ‘creamers’ thoughtfully set out to accompany your cup of sustainable, shade-grown, fair-trade coffee.
Making so bold as to request “filched baby bovine batter” known in less conscious circles simply as- butter, instead of quietly accepting the waxy, corn-colored, interesterified blend of palm, soybean, canola and olive oil provided as a spread for your chia seed muffin is considered nothing short of heresy. Such a blatant and gauche display of top-of-the-food-chain entitlement is punishable by being first scoffed at, then roundly refused, and finally sent downstairs shamefaced- if not altogether chastened, to purchase your own personal tub of Mother Nature’s most benevolent lactation manifestation.
This of course you will spread on your muffin with a flimsy plastic knife- destined to snap in half under the weight of your cold-case contraband, and clandestinely consume in the privacy of your own crumb-peppered car. It is important to recognize that henceforth you will be referred to in hushed whispers by the deli staff as a ‘carnist’ and by that I don’t think they mean the eccentric folk employed at carnivals.
Haters notwithstanding, I’ve been buying my pantry staples at this little co-op for more than twenty years, because they offer great member prices and a truly first-rate produce department, and frankly I dig the groovy 70’s vibe still permeating the site even after the 90’s eco-renovation. Anyway, one day about five years ago I was standing at the register checking out with the help of two lovely young gentlemen employees when the cashier said to the bagger “Dude! I had some killer chili rellenos last night.” The bagger then proceeded to shake his head from side to side “Dude. That’s no bueno. I used to eat Mexican food too, then I found out they use… lard.” The cashier, comprehension slowly dawning on his surf-tanned and peach-fuzzed countenance replied “Uuuugh! No way dude! That stuff’s full-on disgusting.”
I ask you, what’s an ancestral cuisine educator to do in such a circumstance?
A. Rummage through the bottom of her purse in search of crumpled ‘bring your own bag’ vouchers to feed the lottery fishbowl, pretending not to be shocked and dismayed by the grossly under-educated state of the youth culture?
B. Nod in total agreement, then with a look of utter disgust, volunteer a translation for the menu item entitled ‘lengua’?
C. Shout “Whoa there fellas! You’ve got it all wrong. Don’t you know lard is a ‘sacred food’ prized by indigenous cultures on every continent for its ability to confer immunity during the months when the sun makes her yearly retreat? Are you boys completely unaware that our wise ancestors revered lard for its reproductive-enhancing and longevity-promoting properties, intuitively discerning the concentration of Vitamin D carefully preserved in its beautifully balanced combination of mono-unsaturated, saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids? And guys, can we talk Mexican food? Don’t you dudes realize why your local mom & pop taquerias cook with lard? Because, duh, it makes the best chili relleno ever! F’realio!”?
As you no doubt intuited, I chose ‘C’. When I recounted the encounter over dinner that evening my husband was quick to opine “Of course you did. You’re the last of a dying breed sweetheart… a bona fide lardmouth.”
There you have it. Regardless of the utter lack of discretion my narrative may represent in any particularly unsympathetic venue, at any particularly inopportune time, I literally cannot stop myself from voicing my fascination with all things ancestral cuisine to any audience careless enough to present me an opening. These fundamental, age-old, deep-nutrition principles have restored me personally to a level of health and productivity that only a decade ago, I sincerely believed completely and forever out of my reach.
It is this late-game return of wellness and the inspiration it gave rise to, that now allow me the privilege of supporting others in their quest to achieve the same. If you are likewise ready to claim your own birthright of recalibrated and optimized genetic expression, allow me to direct you to the well-worn path our wise ancestors tread in search of ‘the fat of the land’ and the reliable fertility, immunity and longevity it so graciously and deliciously bestows upon God’s hungry children.