Vegetarian ingredients

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Vegetarian ingredients

Eating out frequently makes me want to tear my hair out. All I want is a vegetarian meal, yet I have actually had to send meals back because they have been contaminated with non-vegetarian ingredients, usually parmesan. This is a serious problem for all vegetarians. Many vegetarians do not even know that parmesan and some other cheeses (e.g. gorgonzola) are never vegetarian, some are rarely vegetarian (e.g. gruyere) and some are only sometimes vegetarian. They do not know this, because so many of their meals come out covered in items which are not even legal on any dish marked 'vegetarian' on the menu. There has been a legal definition of 'vegetarian' for some years now, and the intention of this was to prevent stupid arguments by restaurant proprietors that certain items (such as cheeses and even fish!) are vegetarian. Obviously you cannot legally misrepresent the nature of dishes sold in your restaurant. You are breaking the law every time a customer looks at your menu and sees a non-vegetarian item marked as vegetarian, and every time a member of your staff tells a diner that a non-vegetarian item is vegetarian. This problem is compounded by celebrity chefs who put non-vegetarian ingredients in 'vegetarian' recipes, or list non-vegetarian ingredients when making a 'vegetarian' dish on a TV programme. Obviously chefs and restaurant proprietors will read/watch these and use the recipes directly or as inspiration. PLEASE ensure Delia reads this and suggest she amends some of her recipes on this site. If this post is removed from the site, I shall know why!


Vegetarian ingredients

This has been discussed before, at some length!!

Delia's recipes state
"Vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is available from"

so I think she is well aware of the issue.

Many cheeses are now vegetarian-friendly as much of the rennet used now is derived from bacteria or other sources that are not animal in origin.

Noreen, Board Moderator

Vegetarian ingredients

Hi Srivvy! I see you just registered with us last night, so welcome to Delia Online.

If you check your inbox you will see I have emailed you direct to ask if you can let me know the titles of the recipes you are concerned about and we will have a look at them.

Please note, we only remove posts when they contravene our forum rules.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Reply to moderator's query

Hi Noreen,

Thank you for taking the trouble to contact me. I have tried to find the recipes I had been concerned about, but can't remember what they were, so those mentioned here are probably not be the only ones. I do appreciate that some recipes suggest that vegetarians might like to find an alternative to the parmesan. However, the following recipes do not, even though they came up in my search for vegetarian recipes and one is in a "vegetarian" cookbook:
Asparagus Feuilletes
Souffle Omelette with Swiss Gruyere Cheese and Parmesan
Tagliatelle with Gorgonzola and Toasted Walnuts. (It is stated that "This recipe is from Delia's Vegetarian Collection"
even though it contains parmesan and Gorgonzola, neither of which can ever be vegetarian.)
Spinach Tortellini with Leeks and Gorgonzola (also contains parmesan)
Gratin of Asparagus with Cheese and Poached Eggs

Whoever decides what categories to put recipes in on the website should be aware that recipes containing certain cheeses are not vegetarian.

Despite all this, Delia's website is one of the best I have seen for vegetarians.

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