We call rendered poultry fat Schmaltz. Rendering removes impurities, leaving a purified grease that almost liquifies at room temperature yet handles high heat without smoking; PureSchmaltz

My surname, Schmaltz, might have arisen from ancestors who collected fat for candle making. Peeved, the story goes, at a pope insisting that everyone take a surname for taxing purposes, they chose one that would embarrass the tax collector when he called it out in the town square. Today, of course, in English, Schmaltz refers to the cloying sentimental.

I’ve never been embarrassed by my name. Proud of my forebears’ protests and known to be sentimental myself, if not always cloyingly so, I continue the tradition after a fashion. I collect what might well be waste to the contributor, add a little value by rendering out the impurities, producing something that can take the heat, spin off some light, and sometimes even produce deeply sentimental responses.

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