I know this post may turn some people off-particularly vegans, but I've never hidden the fact that I eat meat. I love meat, and I am of the philosophy that if you're going to kill something for its meat then you should use all parts of that animal. Didn't they do that in pre-historic and the covered wagon days? Oh well, I'm not here to wage a war between vegans and carnivores, so let's get on to the soap shall we?
This is my first time making tallow soap. What is tallow you may ask? Well, quite simply, it's cow fat that's been rendered (the process of removing all the gunk and meaty bits and converting beef fat into a usable resource). Think of it as cow lard for lack of a better comparison. To see the actual rendering in process, check out this post. I have no desire to learn to how to render tallow, so I just buy mine from here. First off, the tallow arrives in solid white form. Duh, it is fat after all, and the smell is a little off-putting like used cooking grease. But wait-it comes from a cow so what do you expect? Double duh...Once you scent your soap accordingly, there is no leftover fried chicken grease smell.
Using tallow in your soap recipe is supposed to help yield a hard, white bar. Well, I can't speak on the white part-mine look very average, but I can attest to the hard part. The loaf came out nice and firm, and I was actually able to slice it up the same day. This particular batch is scented in black raspberry & vanilla. I didn't get too fancy with the design because I didn't know what to expect. The oils I used were very basic-tallow, of course, soybean, palm, and coconut oils. I haven't decided if I'm going to sell these or use them as a deluxe sample with purchase but if you don't have a problem with using animal by-products in your soaps, I encourage you to give tallow a try.