to expect chips to be vegetarian?

(72 Posts)
hugoagogo Fri 23-Aug-13 21:36:37

and if they aren't that this should be made clear?

I understand that some people enjoy chips cooked in lard or goose or duck fat and that is fine with me as long as I know.

BUT as a general rule vegetables should be vegie no?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 23-Aug-13 21:39:03

I think (speaking as the wife of a vegan) that you need to check. DH always asks what things have been cooked in. YABU to assume or expect.

BIWI Fri 23-Aug-13 21:39:51

Oh no! Best chips are cooked in beef dripping.

TylerHopkins Fri 23-Aug-13 21:41:11

You know, I'd never really given it much though until now. As a Veggie though I will check in future.

HazeltheMcWitch Fri 23-Aug-13 21:41:14

I'm a veggie; I'd check.
They could be cooked in any type of fat, or alongside meaty, fishy things.

AwkwardSquad Fri 23-Aug-13 21:41:48

Up here in the northeast you'd be hard pressed to find a chip that's not cooked in animal fat. It's a pain for non meat eaters like me and the chips aren't even nice - they're flabby. Yuck. On the bright side, it stops me buying a fish supper on impulse on the way home from work!

sarahtigh Fri 23-Aug-13 21:41:55

no it is not a valid assumption a lot of chip shop chips are cooked in animal fat

roast potatoes are rarely vegetarian mostly done in the fat from the roast meat they are accompanying

MammaTJ Fri 23-Aug-13 21:44:23

Veggie, maybe, vegan, never assume is vegan as oven chips are usually layden with whey powder. However, manay places do use meat fat to fry in.

AwkwardSquad Fri 23-Aug-13 21:45:10

And yes before someone jumps on it, I am fully aware of the inherent contradiction of saying 'non meat eater' and then mentioning a fish supper. Pescatarian blah blah hypocrite blah blah. My point is that chips fried in dripping are vile and soggy travesties.

hardbeingme Fri 23-Aug-13 21:46:13

walkers cheese & onion were at one point not vegetarian whereas the beef flavour were, i don't know if this is still the case but it must be a minefield.

a vegetarian lady i worked with had absolutely no idea that haribo weren't animal product free she was horrified when i explained what gelatine was.

AwkwardSquad - I misread what you said as saying that chips fried in dripping are vile and soggy transvestites. grin

hugoagogo Fri 23-Aug-13 21:53:15

Don't people think that there should be a notice in the chip shop to say that the chips are cooked in lard/dripping or whatever?

meganorks Fri 23-Aug-13 21:55:19

YABU - dripping chips are the best.

Amrapaali Fri 23-Aug-13 21:57:25

Snap! Me too, SDTG... smile

hugoagogo Fri 23-Aug-13 21:57:48

Did I comment on whether they were nice or not?

Read the op fgs

sameoldIggi Fri 23-Aug-13 21:58:15

I work on the basis that if it doesn't say cooked in veg oil, then I need to ask. You can really taste it if you encounter the wrong sort!
Liking the transvestite chip idea - meat born in a vegetable's body.

NoelHeadbands Fri 23-Aug-13 21:58:33

I would assume chips to be non-vegetarian actually

Perhaps because I'm northern grin

Lots of chips aren't gluten free either- covered in flour to crisp them up. 'Sabugger.

Bonkerz Fri 23-Aug-13 22:03:35

And some chips are not dairy free as they have a milk coating to make them crispy (KFC)

Chips aren't exactly the cornerstone of a healthy vegetarian diet anyway. I'm veggie but can't remember the last time I ate chips.

badguider Fri 23-Aug-13 22:03:53

Chip shops around here (south east scotland) tend to have notices up saying 'cooked in vegetable oil' - therefore i'd expect those that dont' have a notice to be cooking in something animal derived.

Rufus43 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:07:38

I think they should say what the chips are cooked in, our local shop does them in oil but I know not all do.

I'm not a vegetarian cos its healthy so I don't worry about them within a balanced diet (not that mine is!)

SilverApples Fri 23-Aug-13 22:07:41

I never expect, those bloody omnivores find it funny when you are two-thirds into a bag to say 'Heee heee, guess what?'
I'd like a notice in the window of a chip shop to tell me if they are not using veggie oil.
You can tell who the omnis are, brains clogged with dripping, they are the ones who haven't RTFT carefully. grin
I don't care if the chips taste amazing to you, I'd like to know what I'm eating.

SlobAtHome Fri 23-Aug-13 22:09:34

I used to work in a chippy as a teen and we weren't allowed to tell customers that they were cooked in beef drippings unless specifically asked. Even if by other Qs it was clear they were veggies shock

I often told them anyway.

aturtlenamedmack Fri 23-Aug-13 22:10:14

I'm in Yorkshire, chips are mainly cooked in animal fat, the safest places are halal take aways and big chains.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 23-Aug-13 22:11:37

I never expect them to be, no. I've always asked.

aturtlenamedmack Fri 23-Aug-13 22:12:20

I think it's more usual to have a sign saying 'cooked in vegetable oil'.

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Fri 23-Aug-13 22:13:32

I live in the North East and most of the chips by me are cooked in oil! I always thought they weren't allowed to cook them in dripping unless they were a restaurant but maybe that didn't become law after all.

NatashaBee Fri 23-Aug-13 22:19:12

I wouldn't assume chips were veggie if they were made in a deep fat fryer, since that same fat has probably had meat products cooked in it.

I'm not sure I'd assume they were veggie even if there was a 'cooked in vegetable oil' sign, I'd assume that was to let people know they weren't fried in nut oil.

SilverApples Fri 23-Aug-13 22:30:13

I used to work in a chippie, we had separate baskets and friers for chips and deep fried meat and a really fine mesh basket for the whitebait and scampi.

Yes, YABU to expect chips to be vegetarian.

Chip shops have been around for over a century, when using beef dripping was the norm. Vegetable oils are a fairly recent innovation, so it is more likely for a chip shop to draw attention to their changed use to vegetable oils than to point out their continued use of dripping. Although some do use vegetable oils, these can not achieve the higher temperatures that dripping can and this affects crispness, so many stuck with the traditional methods. And took it for granted that people knew this.

kmc1111 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:32:07

Yes, this is one of my bugbears. Not so much with fish and chip shops, as I expect it if there's no sign up saying they cook with vegetable oil or similar (though I wish they all had signs up saying what they cook with). It's more at cafe's/restaurants. You would think if you order something marked as vegetarian that comes with a side of chips, that the chips would be ok for a veggie, but more and more I'm finding that's not the case. I have the same problem with cheese, so many menu items labeled as vegetarian are laden with cheese, even salads, and when you ask if the cheese contains animal rennet the answer is more often than not yes (or 'what's rennet?'). Very frustrating. I know that a lot of people don't even think about things like rennet, gelatine, even lard, and that's fine, but if you state something is vegetarian, then it should be completely vegetarian.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 23-Aug-13 22:33:46

Being parent to a coeliac, I never make any assumptions about food! confused
Read every label, question everything!
Oh, and buy a deep fat fryer and make your own!

Spikeytree Fri 23-Aug-13 22:35:16

My local chippy has just started frying in beef dripping, but they also fry in oil in a separate fryer. It can mean a long wait though, depending on what the last load of chips was fried in.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 23-Aug-13 22:36:04

"Oven chips are usually laden with milk powder."

What?! No they arent!

Wheat possible but oven chips arent 'usually laden in whey powder.'

Jan49 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:39:36

I never expect or assume anything. I'm vegetarian. I ask and check or don't eat.

No. I wouldn't ever assume and I think the onus is on me to check.

CharlotteParks Fri 23-Aug-13 22:45:26

"Don't people think that there should be a notice in the chip shop to say that the chips are cooked in lard/dripping or whatever?"

I think it would be very useful of them to put signs up but I don't think they should have to or that you can expect them to, being veggie is a choice afterall. It isn't about a health risk like when cafes but signs up to alert to peanuts in their cookies or whatever.

Actually I'd probably make that assumption too. The only question I'd have , having worked in catering is whether the oil was used to fry sausages/chicken nuggets etc too.

Bowlersarm Fri 23-Aug-13 22:51:42


There is no assumption that anything should be vegetarian I'm afraid.

You need to ask. There is no reason that chips should be vegetarian.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 23-Aug-13 22:52:19

No, you need to check. Not having a problem with non vegetarian food is the default, the people who do fuss about it have to check for themselves and not make it everyone else's problem!

BrownSauceSandwich Fri 23-Aug-13 22:54:07

Does it matter what the fat is? If anything meaty or fishy is cooked in the same fryer, nothing that comes out of it is really veggie friendly, right?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 23-Aug-13 22:55:06

Well, fish is a vegetable, obviously... confused

limitedperiodonly Fri 23-Aug-13 22:55:49

Chips cooked in animal fat. That's what I'm going to with steak tomorrow. I've been saving bits of bacon rind to add to the lard.


Only with animal fat can you get a high enough temperature to get them crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Rummikub Fri 23-Aug-13 22:58:20

I check things like rennet and gelatine but never thought about what chips are fried in! I've checked stuff like roast potatoes too, but not chips! I think stuff should be labelled properly, on menus, shops, coffee shops. Isn't frying in lard unhealthier than when fried in veg oil?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 23-Aug-13 22:59:51

Yes, it is. Thus ruining entirely the otherwise diet-conscious choice of fish and chips confused

Rummikub Fri 23-Aug-13 23:01:49

Ha ha, I know I realised what I'd posted. But I suppose it's about having all the facts so you can make an informed choice.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 23-Aug-13 23:25:10

YABU, you're making a huge assumption, based on how you would cook them. I only cook vegetable curries, that does not mean all curries are vegetable.

Don't ever try to buy tinned beans in France.

Lazyjaney Fri 23-Aug-13 23:30:12

Don't people think that there should be a notice in the chip shop to say that the chips are cooked in lard/dripping or whatever


lottiegarbanzo Fri 23-Aug-13 23:31:21

Or vegetable burgers.

Vegetable as main ingredient(s) does not equal vegetarian. In fact, best not go to France, or most other countries, at all.

Rummikub Fri 23-Aug-13 23:33:44

What's in tinned beans in France lottie? <curious>

lottiegarbanzo Sat 24-Aug-13 09:00:44

Goose fat!

'Prepared' beans have fat and spices, on the assumption you want to use them in meaty stew. It's really hard to find plain ones. We also found a vegetable patty / burger, all veg except a smidge of meat bouillon. Just not made for a vegetarian market.

MammaTJ Sat 24-Aug-13 09:26:53

OHforDUCKScake, they are, really. I know because I had to put DS on a wheat and dairy free diet and read every ingredient on everything I gave him. This was under the instruction of the Paediatrician. He was then admitted to hospital for an unrelated problem and they kept trying to give him ham and chips for every meal. Apart from anything else, he needed good nutritious food, not crap but they did not know whether the chips were ones with or without whey powder on them.

IsabelleRinging Sat 24-Aug-13 09:40:09


Chips and roast potatoes are traditionally cooked in beef dripping.

As a vegetarian it is your responsibility to find out if the chips are vegetarian or not, after all you are the one with the restricted diet. You only have to ask.

Sanctimummy Sat 24-Aug-13 09:44:42

YABU to expect them to be vegetarian.

You should ask if it's not clear. Is it really that hard to ask?

It was only in my late teens when I was dating a wanker guy who worked in a fish and chippie that I discovered that it was cooked with the fish, shortly afterwards my little sister came home from work at a restaurant and said about how the chips were cooked with meat and fried in a mix of oils and lard (more because of how 'cleanly' they were in that kitchen!).

I thought that they had to have a sign up but apparently they don't.

Lottie: I remember buying chickpeas in France and eating half the tin before discovering a huge hunk of meat in the bottom when I was a kid! shock

OnTheBottomWithAWomensWeekly Sat 24-Aug-13 09:51:13

Yabu. Why should there be signs up everywhere to acomodate your diet choices?

Oh, and no to signs. As other people have said, you should ask. Also, when we live in a country which does things traditionally like using lard for veg, why would you not check?!

Though saying that, I'd assume in chain restaurants that they are veggie unless stated otherwise, such as Toby Carvery, because they used to make a point on their menu that all of the veg was vegetarian except for that cooked in with the meat and that would be labelled.

hackmum Sat 24-Aug-13 10:45:35

There was an episode of QI a while back where Stephen Fry read out a list of all the products that contained pig - it was a ridiculously long list, not just food, and a whole load of stuff you wouldn't expect. It made me think that if you are a vegetarian or vegan on ethical grounds, it's impossible to keep animal products out of your life, because they're everywhere.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 24-Aug-13 11:19:21

Oh it's possible Hackmum and there are reference books regularly updated on the subject for exactly that reason. You do have to take personal responsibility though.

Anyone who limits their 'vegetarianism' to avoiding visible or obvious meat products will not be close to being a true vegetarian (though IMO, they are doing something that makes a big difference to their diet, which, in line with whatever reasons are behind their choice, is much, much better than doing nothing or feeling intimidated into inaction by the impossibility of perfection).

AnotherWorld Sat 24-Aug-13 11:31:13


I don't think it's unreasonable to make that assumption. But I seem to be a lone voice.

Rummikub Sat 24-Aug-13 12:20:55

Lottie shock about goose fat! I think everything should be labelled. It's taking away consumer choice and being able to make an informed choice is important. Horse meat in beef burgers?

I asked for vegetarian iron tablets, surprisingly difficult to get hold of.

Rummikub: Try for veggie iron, they are quite good and cheap.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 24-Aug-13 12:29:19

Oh, the goose fat is on the labels, so you do just have to read and it's highlighted on the front, in that are desribed as 'prepared' beans. It's just that it's quite hard to find 'plain' unprepared beans or chickpeas, or in brine, the way we get them here.

So the wider point is, you need to have some awareness of the food culture of the place you're in and not make assumptions based on what you choose to do at home - which applies equally to being aware of British food culture and the long tradition of cooking chips in beef fat, of course.

Rummikub Sat 24-Aug-13 12:56:32

That's good that they are labelled as such. I do check labels and gelatine is in a surprising number of items. I was most annoyed that Kellogg's mini maxi used gelatine.

I do agree about having awareness about processed food but do feel that eateries, supermarkets and manufacturers should help make choices clearer.

Thanks for that info pixie. Much appreciated.

Xmasbaby11 Sat 24-Aug-13 13:01:56

I would never assume chips were veggie, as it's common to use animal fat in cooking. I don't think this needs to be made clear. You can't label everything - it is the responsibility of the customer to ask

Fillyjonk75 Sat 24-Aug-13 13:03:52

Chips in animal fat = lush.

eurochick Sat 24-Aug-13 13:09:48

YABU. And I say that a former veggie.

Dawndonnaagain Sat 24-Aug-13 14:16:54

I have two veggie teens. They ask first. Just the sensible thing to do, surely?

Mintyy Sat 24-Aug-13 14:19:32

To answer your op, op, I do think that anywhere serving chips should say what they are cooked in. Its a small thing and makes it easier for vegetarians or the people who prefer not to eat animal fat.


Dackyduddles Sat 24-Aug-13 14:27:01

I don't. Most of their consumers won't be interested. You are asking because of a lifestyle choice not allergy.

You wanna know, you ask.

I was veggie for years. I always asked.

Also, if lots of people ask, then don't buy if they are cooked in dripping, the shop might start using vegetable fat. At least, that was my hope.

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