Eating without involving animals is, famously, very tricky to do. Even something as innocuous as a glass of wine or slice of toast is fraught with danger for a strict vegan. With so many potential pitfalls, you might think that vegans spend their time forced to stick to the fruit bowl, avoiding almost all of the most delicious foods that the world has to offer. This might be partially true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Though there are many beloved products that slip in a little animal something into the mix, there are many more that somehow manage to avoid it altogether. Here are eight foods that you had no idea are actually vegan.
1. Walkers and Lays Barbecue Crisps
Barbecue sauce might be best used to top chicken, ribs and pulled pork, but these potato chips hold a surprising secret. Containing sugar, salted tomato, molasses and malted barley, these snacks are ideal for someone who might miss flame roasted meat, but can’t handle the guilt.
In a shocking turn of events, “Milk’s Favourite Cookie” has absolutely nothing to do with milk. They might be creamy, chocolatey and buttery, but Oreo cookies somehow manage to avoid cream, chocolate and butter - making them ideal for any plant-based eaters with a sweet tooth.
3. Uncle Ben’s Katsu Curry
Quite how Uncle Ben’s managed to make one of the world’s most famous chicken dishes completely free from chicken is anyone’s guess - but manage it they did. A star of the famous Instagram page “Accidentally Vegan”, this is one product that proves you don’t need meat to make classic dishes.
4. Halo Top Peanut Butter Ice Cream
That you can make any ice cream without a cow is already something of a modern miracle, but the fact that you can make it with peanut butter as well and for under 350 per tub is basically witchcraft. No wonder Halo Top are taking over the world.
5. ASDA hand cooked hoisin duck crisps
Quite how you manage to make the flavour of duck without using any ducks is beyond us. Somehow, British supermarket ASDA managed to quack the code. Some might say the idea of a meat-flavoured, meat-free crisp is weird. That may be so, but it’s still pretty cool.
Normally, sweets that have an appetising shiny shell have been made with shellac - one of the least appetising ingredients on the planet, extracted from dead bug shells. Since Skittles are as shiny as they come, you’d expect them to fall into this category, but they are mercifully bug-free and fully vegan.
7. Chocolate Chip Hobnobs
Not only are they the ideal way to make it through a mid afternoon slump in the office, but McVitie’s Chocolate Chip Hobnobs don’t involve doing anything nasty to something cute and fluffy. Despite their chocolatey kick, these biscuits are 100% vegan.
8. Pot Noodle
The go-to snack for the lazy student, flavours such as “beef and tomato” and “Chinese chow mein” were never going to be packed with top quality ingredients. But to learn that basically all of them, including those with the meatiest names, are entirely free from animal-derived products is a real turn up for the books.
One of the many awkward things about being vegan is the constant checking of labels to try and spot where an animal might have unexpectedly ended up. This can make mealtimes incredibly tedious. But it also means that, when you finally find something out of the ordinary, that they are an extremely pleasant surprise.