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How to Tell if Shredded Suet is Fresh

I have had store-bought shredded suet in my freezer for a year now. Is it still good for making a Christmas pudding?

Quite likely not.

Freezers are wonderful things. They slow down the activity of enzymes that causes foods to spoil. One thing they are not good at, however, is preventing fats from going rancid. That's why you trim fat from meats that are bound for the freezer and defat soups and stews.

And your suet 100 percent fat is doubly problematic because it is shredded, meaning there is hundreds of times more surface area to oxidize and turn rancid than if you had a single large piece of suet.

You can tell for yourself, though, whether your suet is still fresh. Smell it when you unwrap it. If it doesn't smell "off," melt a small amount in a skillet and fry a small cube of bread. If the fat and bread smell clean and the fried bread tastes fine, the suet should be fine for your Christmas pudding. The chemical compounds in rancid fat are not considered dangerous, but your nose should be able to tell right away whether the suet is rancid or not.

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