Vegetable Shortening


A semisolid fat used in food preparation, especially baked goods, and is so called because it promotes a "short" or crumbly texture (as in shortbread). Shortening is basically just fat or lard from an animal or vegetable. The term "shortening" can be used more broadly to apply to any fat that is used for baking and which is solid at room temperature, such as butter, lard, or margarine.


Other names: Crisco, Shortening
Translations: Dārzeņu saīsināšana, Augaliniai trumpinimas, Scurtarea legume, Povrće Skraćivanje, Rau Rút ngắn, Skrócenie warzyw, Plantaardige Verkorting, सब्जी को छोटा, Gordura vegetal, Растительного масла, Φυτικά συντόμευση, الخضر تقصير, 야채 단축, Zeleninové zkrácení, Nabati Shortening, Halaman mantika, 蔬菜缩短, Manteca vegetal, Rastlinski Skrajšanje, Zeleninové skrátenie, Riduzione di verdure, ירקות קיצור, Vegetabiliska förkortning, Поврца, 野菜短縮, Shortening végétal, Pflanzenfett, Vegetabilske Afkortning, Vegetabilsk Raskere, Manteca vegetal, Рослинного масла, Kasvis lyhentäminen, Растителни Съкращаване

Physical Description

Vegetable shortening is mostly a buttery substance and tends to be somewhat greasy and smooth. Like butter, it is an easy to spread substance.

Colors: Cream white

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Bland, neutral
Mouthfeel: Smooth, Greasy
Food complements: Vegetable oils such as soybean oil and cotton seed oil.
Substitutes: Butter, Margarine, Lard, Bacon grease

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Vegetable shortening is the same thing as "Crisco" shortening in the grocery store. It is sold in cans and usually is found near the oils.
Buying: Available in most general grocery stores.

Preparation and Use

Vegetable shortening may be substituted for other fats (such as butter, margarine, or lard) in baking of pie pastry, cookies, and cakes. Shortening is ideal for pastry, since it blends well with the flour.

Conserving and Storing

Vegetable shortening can be stored at room temperature for up to a year.


History: Crisco, a popular brand of shortening was first produced in 1911. Shortening was once made from animal fat.



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