Cheese and veggie appetizer with hidden meat

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Last week I was in a restaurant and ordered a “cheese and veggie” appetizer, just looking for a light snack. I didn’t even finish it, so I took some home to finish later. It was when I went back to my leftovers that Huyen pointed out that some of the cheese cubes were actually salami and cheese cubes! Needless to say, I was a tad pissed that this wasn’t indicated anywhere on the menu’s description. I don’t need all restaurants to cater to me and my “special needs,” but for a dish that’s named something like a “cheese and veggie platter,” I would think that (like McDonald’s fries), meat should in no way be involved.

I don’t know for sure whether or not I ate any of these offending pieces of cheese (I thought they were bits of red pepper), but that’s not really the point. It doesn’t make me any less of a vegetarian because I was duped, just like a vegan isn’t any less of a vegan if he finds out the soy cheese he’s been eating has casein (presuming he stops once he finds out). The point is that there are enough vegetarians in the world now where some sort of uniform labeling system should be adopted (like in the UK) that can indicate if a dish or product is vegetarian- or vegan-safe. I don’t think I should have to worry about bits of meat in my cheese, just like I shouldn’t have to worry about beef flavoring on my fries.

2 Responses to “Cheese and veggie appetizer with hidden meat”

  1. Scott

    I have been duped in much the same way many times in the past. Most recently at Freshfields in Tennleytown a few weeks ago. I ate a bunch of Pesto Pata salad—the ingredients were not listed and no one knew if it contained parmesean cheese. It did. I know this due to the food poisoning like illness which rapidly followed. It put a bit of a damper on the beginning of the Fugazi show at Ft. Reno. When that happens—-It sucks.

    Kim’s brother lives in Ithaca, NY where there are a ton of vegetarians and vegans (The Moosewood Restaurant is actually located there). He and his girlfriend often buy candy etc.. for us at their local health food store, once they bought us this amazing blueberry crumble pie–excellent. Everything at the store is color coded on the price sticker to show the ingredients as being vegetarian, vegan or neither. An excellent idea which I feel all Health Food stores should adopt in the interest of excellent customer service. Regretfully Europeans are way ahead in accepting alternative dietary lifestyles, and it will be decades before food begins to be labeled as such. In this country I feel that those who show compassion in there eating habits are ostracized and made to feel inferior. I wonder if you had told the manager what his/her reaction would have been? When I have gone to management of other restaurants in the past with similar complaints, the answers/apologies and levels of understanding can be less than satisfactory.

  2. Sam

    Does anyone know if a veggie labeling system has ever been proposed? You see the little K in the circle for kosher foods. I’ve often wondered why vegetarians and vegans couldn’t get that sort of labeling-a single V for vegetarian and a double V for vegan. But I’m not really sure how the K works. It would be nice if this sort of thing was implemented for restaurant menus too.

    For store-bought foods, it would probably require being considered a sufficiently well-developed and desirable market that companies would be able to justify the cost. For the restaurants, I’d imagine that a local veggie group could lobby local restaurants, or even a local government, to have this added.

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