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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Vegetable Shortening In Greece

    Some of Nigella's pastry recipes use vegetable shortening. I've seen some info of vegetable shortening brands in other countries (such as Crisco in the US) but do you know of a vegetable shortening brand in Greece? Thanks

    From the nigella team:

    Vegetable shortening is a solid (hydrogenated) form of vegetable oil and may be made from several different vegetable sources (though palm oil is one of the more common types). We understand that there is a brand of shortening in Greece called "Nea Fytini" and you may be able to use this. We believe that this brand has some flavouring and colourijng added to it to give it a more "buttery" taste and feel. This should be fine if you are using the shortening in pastry but for other recipes you will have to consider whether any added flavouring could affect the dish.

    If you can get lard (white animal fat) then this can be used instead of vegetable shortening but check that the lard does not have any particularly strong flavour. For example, "drippings" from bacon fat or from a piece of roasted meat would have too much flavour for pastry, but would be good for other forms of cooking.

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