Schatzi: Those of you who know me well also know how much I love fat. I love butter, I love oil, I love lard. If it’s fat, I love it. I live for days when I can peel roasted chicken or turkey skin right off the bird. I prefer things like Brie to be deep-fried. I pour bacon grease over sticky rice with a little ponzu or shoyu and eat it. I dredge slices of bread through roasting pan drippings, and then eat them. I lick my fingers clean of butter, and eat uncooked bacon. Shoots, I made bacon vodka. And I refuse to be ashamed any longer, thanks in part to Jennifer McLagan.
“From the beginning of human history until the middle of the last century, the word fat had positive connotations. People lived off “the fat of the land” and everybody was happy to receive a “fat paycheque.”
Fat was valuable and useful. The best meat was well marbled and had a good coating of fat, and only the plumpest chicken was selected for the pot. Fat was an integral part of our diet, and those who didn’t eat enough were sickly and often died.
People living in extreme conditions, like the Inuit and the Masai, survived only because their food was high in fat. Eating fat and being a little plump was a sign of prosperity and health; no one wanted to be thin.
Fat is no longer seen as valuable, and being plump is considered a health risk. Fat is no longer admired or associated with wealth, and, worse still, the fat in our food is now inexorably linked to the fat on our bodies. So our fear of getting fat makes us choose low-fat meats and eat lean chicken.”
Continue reading an excerpt from award-winning author Jennifer McLagan’s new book at The Globe and Mail site.