Remember when I mentioned the homemade Pop Tart recipe? Well, there's a problem--it needs butter AND shortening. Like Crisco. Now as far as the "illegal" foods label goes, I've pretty much written Crisco off as being pretty close to the top of the list. According to their website, Crisco is hydrogenated vegetable oil. According to Wikipedia, hydrogenation:
is widely applied to the processing of vegetable oils and fats. Complete hydrogenation converts unsaturated fatty acids to saturated ones. In practice the process is not usually carried to completion. Since the original oils usually contain more than one double bond per molecule (that is, they are poly-unsaturated), the result is usually described as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; that is some, but usually not all, of the double bonds in each molecule have been reduced. This is done by restricting the amount of hydrogen (or reducing agent) allowed to react with the fat.
Hydrogenation results in the conversion of liquid vegetable oils to solid or semi-solid fats, such as those present in margarine. Changing the degree of saturation of the fat changes some important physical properties such as the melting point, which is why liquid oils become semi-solid. Semi-solid fats are preferred for baking because the way the fat mixes with flour produces a more desirable texture in the baked product. Since partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are cheaper than animal source fats, are available in a wide range of consistencies, and have other desirable characteristics (e.g., increased oxidative stability (longer shelf life)), they are the predominant fats used in most commercial baked goods. Fat blends formulated for this purpose are called shortenings.
Got all that? Okay, so it's hydrogen added to vegetable oil to make a shelf-stable fat. So, getting out the little Crisco can that I keep around for seasoning cast iron pans, I discover that it contains:
and that it has gone rancid because I really don't have to season cast iron THAT often.
The OTHER option (besides giving up this entire endeavor is:
LARD. Yep, rendered pig fat.
How good could those damn Pop Tarts possibly be anyway??????
Dang! Where am I going to find gourmet pig fat.......?