Wednesday, July 11, 2012

suet--what the heck is it?

This question came up from the last post. I know it is some sort of fatty substance, but I don't know much more about it than that. I picture it as kind of translucent but full of seeds, mainly because I think of suet as something the more compassionate among us put out for birds in winter. Wrong, wronger or more wrong than you could possibly imagine?

Let's find out.

Well, right, except about the translucent part. Suet is a very specific sort of fat. Its the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys of cattle and sheep. "Hard" being the operative word here, I think, as far as why it's used in bird feeders. It makes a sort of container for seeds, while also being a  high energy source of nourishment for the birds in itself.

I expect a lot of people will be surprised that I don't know what suet is. That's because I think suet has fallen a bit out of fashion here on the left coast over the years. Even California birds probably don't need a lot of fat to get them through the winter, after all.

But I've rectified that by watching the following video about suet pudding...for humans.No, really, I'm not a chef either, but this is one you need to see, in a slice of life sort of way:


  1. I always associate suet with suet pudding, which I used to love. Back in the '60s my mother used to cook it quite regularly but after a while it started to come in tins, I think.

    Heart attack on a plate, I suspect.

  2. Delightful, in so many ways. I even enjoyed the breathing.

  3. Paul, well, I'm pretty sure California will end up being designated a fat free zone, judging by the way things are trending, so I'm not sure I'll ever be able to sample the dish.

    Kathleen, one of my favorite parts of doing this blog is stumbling upon videos like the second one. The last line is worth watching through to the end, for anyone who might think otherwise.

  4. It was totally worth it! I wonder if anyone in my neck of the woods would even understand this video from another planet?


  5. Their loss if they don't, Julie.

  6. Ha ha. MY friends would love it!

  7. Ha ha. MY friends would love it!

  8. I recounted an amusing experience about finding suet in Hawaii last Christmas season, here:

  9. Yes, I remember seeing that post, because I love mincemeat, or think I do (when was the last time I had it?) but I guess I must have skimmed the recipe, because I had missed the anecdote. It is in the middle of the piece for anyone wanting to catch it...