Crisco with zero trans fat has arrived
When the J. M. Smucker Co. bought the Crisco brand in 2002, its scientists went to work on finding a way to convert the original product...
Seattle Times Food staff
When the J.M. Smucker Co. bought the Crisco brand in 2002, its scientists went to work on finding a way to convert the original product to one with zero trans fat.
In 2004, the company produced a limited-edition zero trans product, but wasn't able to produce it in quantities that would meet customer demands. Most important, the reformulated shortening didn't provide the same qualities of tenderness and flakiness in baked goods as the original, said Mary Beth Badertscher, company spokesperson. After linking the kinds of soy and cottonseed oils that wouldn't raise saturated fat levels, Crisco with zero trans fat is now available in supermarkets. "Products with the new packaging [marked by a green and yellow flag] are just now being shipped," noted Badertscher, but in some Seattle supermarkets we have seen cans of Crisco without the new labeling already listing 0 trans fats on the nutritional label.
Just as with the original, the reformulated Crisco will be marketed in butter-flavor, sticks and 1- and 2-pound cans.
How does the new Crisco stack up against the original? In the Times Test Kitchen, we ran a blind tasting of two Apple Crumb Pies, one whose dough was made with the original Crisco, the other with the zero trans fat product. Most testers liked the pie made with traditional Crisco because it was slightly flakier and had a more tender crust, but the differences were slight.
The dough for Classic Buttermilk Biscuits felt a little silkier and slightly easier to work with when made with the original shortening. But both the biscuits and a batch of Currant Scones were tender and light.
Although the nutritional information on the reformulated Crisco lists partially hydrogenated vegetable oil as an ingredient, the amount is less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving, which is allowed under FDA guidelines.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.