5 Foods That You Thought Were Vegetarian…But Really Aren’t

Most people assume that they can tell if a food is vegetarian or not just by looking at it. As long as you can’t see any meat, you’re fine to include it on your menu as a vegetarian option. Right? Wrong! Contrary to popular belief, many classic dishes that seem vegetarian actually contain fish or animal products. Some of the sneakiest faux-vegetarian dishes include:

  • French onion soup. French onion soup is traditionally made with beef broth, which obviously contains meat. While it’s possible to substitute vegetable broth when cooking at home, most versions you’ll find in restaurants and when ordering catering in Philadelphia, PA, are not suitable for vegetarians.
  • Vegetable-based Asian dishes. Wait a second—if you order your Pad Thai with vegetables instead of chicken or beef, it’s vegetarian, right? Unfortunately, many Thai, Japanese, and Chinese dishes contain an ingredient called “fish sauce” which is (you guessed it) made with fish.
  • Parmesan cheese. Cheeses are often made using rennet, a digestive enzyme extracted from the stomachs of mammals. Some cheeses are now made using vegetable rennet but most still use the non-vegetarian standard.
  • French fries. Though French fries are considered vegetarian if fried in coconut oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil, the greasy goodness you’ll find on many restaurant and catering menus is fried using animal fat.
  • Gummy candies. Gummy candies are made using gelatin, which contains a range of animal products. And yes, unfortunately this means that Jello is not vegetarian-safe either.

When it comes to dietary restrictions, don’t guess with your guests! Catering companies in Pennsylvania like Village Catering can help you craft a perfect menu with options for every guest on your list. Give our team a call today at 215-437-3337 to learn more about vegetarian, Kosher, and Halal dinner options for your next event!