What if I were to tell you that you couldn’t use butter in your cooking or as a spread anymore? What other options do you have? Do you have anything in mind? Well, I do! What don’t you try schmaltz? Schmaltz is a common ingredient in Central European and Jewish cuisines. It is oozing with essential nutrients and health benefits. To learn more, give this article a read!
Schmaltz: What Is It?
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Schmaltz is actually a chicken or goose fat, boiled on the cooker and extracted down into a lard-like substance. Unlike bone broth, which has a soup-like consistency, schmaltz remains in its thick, butter-like form. It has a rich flavour favoured by many cooks.
Schmaltz is a well-known spread in Europe, where it is used in freshly baked good. In the US, it is often associated with Jewish cuisine, where it is sometimes just referred to as poultry fat. Jewish culture practices a prohibition of frying food in lard or butter, which makes schmaltz a perfect ingredient.
Schmaltz is made by melting the fatty tissues of a poultry and collecting the drippings. This can be done through a dry process, where the fat can be collected by putting the fat on a low heat, or through a wet-steam process, which melts the fat with a direct injection of steam. The schmaltz is then clarified and filtered, producing a butter-like consistency. In the Jewish community, it is made by melting small amounts of chicken in a pan with onions on medium to low heat. The melted fat is drained using a cheesecloth, or collected by chilling the soup until the fat floats on top to be skimmed.
Schmaltz: Where to Find it and How to Use It
Based on what you’ve just read, you may already have an idea of how good schmaltz is. If you are wondering where you can find it, look in kosher butcher shops or even your local farmer’s market. It may also be purchasable online and at various grocery stores. However, if you can’t find it, you can also make your own at home.
You may also be asking yourself how you use it? Well, you can add it to just about everything from spreading it on bread to adding it to stews and soups. It is also good for frying and various types of high-temperature cooking, as it is a very stable agent.
Health Benefits of Schmaltz
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of schmaltz:
- May benefit the nails, skin and hair. Just like chicken, schmaltz can provide you with glowing skin, healthy nails and shiny hair. This is perfect for those who love making themselves look younger than their actual age.
- Fits the Keto Diet. If you are following a ketogenic diet, which emphasizes healthy fats, schmaltz may be a great addition to your plan. The Keto diet can help you lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes and potentially help protect you against cancer, among other benefits.
- Essential for high-temperature cooking. Not only does schmaltz offer amazing flavor benefits, it may also tolerate high-temperature cooking. It is a favourite among chefs all around the world, who love to maximize the flavour of their dishes.
- May help reduce cholesterol levels. There is monounsaturated fat in the schmaltz, which helps balance cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. This is one of the best health benefits of schmaltz, especially for those who are watching their cholesterol levels.
Precautions for Consuming Schmaltz
Just like any other food, eating an excessive amount of schmaltz is not healthy. After all, schmaltz is a fat, and watching your fat consumption is very important. Please consult your doctor before consuming it.