Home cooks around the world rely on one essential ingredient to bring out food’s flavor: fat. Late January, when it’s cold and dark, seems the perfect season to sing the praises of fat. In our next Lowell Folklife Series program, we explore four forms of fat with deep cultural associations: schmaltz, the kosher poultry fat used in Jewish cooking; salt pork, the French Canadian ingredient so critical to fresh-made pork scrap and baked beans; olive oil, the healthy staple of Greek and Italian cuisine, and ghee, the clarified butter used in South Asian cooking.
The free public event takes place Friday January 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the Visitor Center of Lowell National Historical Park. Joining us for a lively discussion will be Sam and Gail Poulten, both of whom grew up in Lowell’s Jewish neighborhood where schmaltz was a staple, Lucia DiDuca of Framingham, a founding member of the Ciociaro Social Club, Kurt Levasseur of Lowell’s own Cote’s Market, and Yogesh Kumar, owner of Sai Baba Market in Chelmsford.
Come hear these culture bearers share their take on the flavorful fats in Jewish, Franco-American, Italian, and Indian cooking. David Blackburn, Chief of Cultural Resources at Lowell National Historical Park, will moderate the panel discussion, which is sure to touch on foodways traditions, family recipes, stories, and religious associations surrounding these fundamental culinary fats.
P.S. — Jane Dornbusch, correspondent to The Boston Globe attended the event and wrote a wonderful review. To see the article, click here.