What is vegetable shortening called in Germany?

In a thread over on LiveJournal I was trying to help explain what biscuits were to non-US folks, and I gave a recipe to help out. Well, someone said “wow, those sound really good, but I don’t know what vegetable shortening is”… they’re from Germany. I’m sure they have it there, but just under a different name, right? Can someone help me out?

Disclaimer: I’m not someone who’s let into a kitchen by people who value their life.

http://dict.leo.org has Backfett (literally, baking fat) as a translation for shortening, so vegetable shortening would be pflanzliches Backfett. If the sort of vegetable fat that’s also used for frying would be suitable Palmin (a popular brand of solid frying fat made from coconut oil) might do.

I did a search, but my limited German came up with nierenfett or rindertalg. Looks like I took a wrong turn somewhere.

In the UK the stuff is sold under the brandname “Atora”.

Just don’t get Schmalz (lard). A friend of mine did that, thinking it was shortening and baked an apple cake that smelled like pork chops while cooking… :slight_smile:

Babelfish translates “vegetable shortening” into Gemüseshortening - a tidy, idiom-free assembly of Gemüse for vegetable and shortening for well, shortening.

Oddly enough, “Crisco” might also get the idea across.

Schmaltz is chicken fat.

Lard is the fat of choice for flaky, crisp pastries and pie crusts. But nowadays people think it’s poison. And I’d rather use butter than shortening.

Lard is the best of all possible shortening for use in pie crusts. I regret that it gets harder and harder to find. At least people have finally realized that trans-fat margerine is more harmful than butter.

What’s the difference between lard and suet?

Mmmmm, lard!

I don’t have a choice (re: lard) because I’m a vegetarian. The idea of lard kinda ooks me out a bit, though…

Suet comes from beef, lard from pigs.

I think usually it’s made from pigs.

I have tried vegetable fats, with not very good results. The trouble with most of them is that without being hydrogenated, the melting point is too low to form the little pockets of solid fat that you need form to get flakiness. You might try coconut oil, that has a melting point of 76 degrees, if the kitchen was cool enough and you didn’t work it very hard, or worked it on a chilled marble board, you might be able to make it work. I’m strictly a lard man, but if you try it, when come back, bring pie. Hey, in this thread, it’s not an affectation.

Could you use cold butter instead? I had to do that when I realized last minute I had no shortening the other day, and it came out tasting okay. I’m a crummy (crumby! hah) pie crust maker though, they always fall apart during the rolling.

Well, I don’t like pie, so the chances of me needing to make a pie crust are slim to none :slight_smile: Shortening works fine for biscuits for me.

Hmmm, this word might be different in German and US english, although it’s not a common english word.

Schmaltz entered US english via Yiddish, and Yiddish is a German dialect. However, those Jewish immigrants wouldn’t use pig fat, or butter in meat dishes, so they used chicken fat instead. I guess the more restrictive Yiddish usage must have stuck since we already had a word for pig fat in english. Does lard have a cognate in german?

You should be okay if the baking time is short, or the oven temp is not too hot. The smoke point of butter is 300 deg F, which is a little low for baking, but if it tastes good, go for it.

Ah, that seems to happen with any Yiddish terms in English.

I couldn’t think of one and looked it up. It entered English from Old French, so the answer seems to be no.

You gotta be careful. I know someone who tried to order a pepperoni pizza and ended up with one topped with pepperonici.

Ooh! And I ordered a chili cheeseburger from BURGER KING and ended up with a cheeseburger with hot peppers!