Even when ordering a harmless Minestrone vegetable soup, ask the waiter what broth it is made with. Very often, chefs prepare soups with chicken broth to add more flavor and aroma to them. French onion soup is most often made with beef broth, while miso soup is made with fish broth or sauce.
Also be careful with cream soups (which can also be made with animal broth), especially if you’re a vegan. Usually they add cream, sour cream and other dairy products.
Do you bet on salads? We do not want to upset you, but we simply must inform you. In general, you can only trust a salad of vegetables seasoned with vegetable oil. Salads with unusual dressings very often contain raw eggs, anchovies, fish sauce and other animal ingredients. Therefore, the best way out is to ask not to dress the salad, but to bring oil and vinegar so that you can do it yourself.
If the dish is not marked with a vegetarian or vegan icon, it is better to ask the waiter if there is meat in the legumes. This is especially sinful in Mexican restaurants, adding lard to the beans. So if you think you’re going to try a vegan burrito, it’s best to ask the waiter twice. You can also stumble upon lard in a Georgian restaurant by ordering lobiani – khachapuri stuffed with beans, in which this animal fat is just put.
Decided to order pasta in tomato sauce, pizza or just sauce for potatoes? Be carefull. Chefs sometimes add animal products (such as anchovy paste) to harmless tomato sauces. And the popular marinara sauce is completely flavored with chicken broth – again, for flavor.
If you love Asian food and curry in particular, ask if the chef adds fish sauce to it. Unfortunately, in most establishments, all sauces are made in advance, but suddenly you are lucky!
Very often (especially when traveling to Western countries) cooks fry vegetables with the addition of bacon, pancetta or, as already mentioned, lard. And if you do not eat animal products at all, ask the waiter what kind of oil the vegetables are fried in, since butter is most often used.
Also check if rice, buckwheat, mashed potatoes and other side dishes include animal products. You probably know that Asian restaurants serve rice with a fried egg. A vegetarian pilaf may not be so vegetarian, but cooked in chicken broth.
Vegans and vegetarians with a sweet tooth are not particularly lucky. It is very difficult to independently determine whether there is anything unethical in a dessert. Eggs are added to almost every dough, and sometimes … bacon is added to pies. It gives baked goods a strange and not particularly pleasant crust. Also ask if marshmallows, mousses, jelly, cakes, sweets and other sweets contain gelatin, which is made from bones, cartilage, skin and animal veins. And vegans should find out if it contains butter, sour cream, milk and other dairy products.