MORAL OF THE STORY - Don't give up on Parmesan! Most grated Parmesans I looked at did not list rennet as an ingredient so it's my understanding that they are vegetarian. Expect that if you buy a piece of Parmigiano that you're expected to grate, it's definitely authentic and has rennet.
Very sad news for all the vegetarians out there who are enjoying these cheeses and that includes myself. I stumbled across this post today and was shocked to discover the facts about them. Let me explain!
There are 5 cheeses currently that utilize "rennet" to help with the curdling process. Rennet is an enzyme found in the stomach lining of a calf to help them digest milk products. Unfortunately, using rennet in the curdling process actually makes the cheese a non vegetarian cheese. These 5 cheeses are:
As a Vegetarian, it's important to educate yourself and there will always be something new to learn. I've been a Vegetarian now for almost 16 years and this was news to me so it's definitely a learning process. I will be reading my ingredients a little better when I purchase any cheese the next time I visit the market and y'all should definitely do the same. It's going to be hard to stop using parmesan but I refuse to eat anything that involves the stomach lining of a slaughtered calf.
Bad news for those of us who LOVED Gardein products, they've temporarily pulled most of their products out of Canadian markets.
Gardein, creator of products that include fishless filets, crabless cakes, and a variety of chik'n products, has decided to remove a plethora of products from Canadian markets because of an inability to meet demand. They're currently investing in a larger facility and will decide at a later date whether they will reintroduce their products back into Canadian markets.
This is seriously bad news for vegans and vegetarians like myself who relied on the fabulous variety that Gardein provided. I was purchasing at least 2 of their products on a weekly basis and regularly dealt with shortages but the products were so good that I was determined to hunt them down. Knowing now that they are not around, it's extremely disappointing.
Don't get me wrong, YVES makes a variety of delicious meatless products as well but Gardein's variety couldn't be beat. There was literally every kind of "meat" you could think of making it fun to prepare dinner. Something different to enjoy every night to center your meal around, it's very unfortunate that they'll not be available for what could be forever.
Anywho, thought y'all would like to know the details because if you're anything like me, you've been hunting to no avail.
Jonathan - Happy Veg
Lover of a variety of things including cheese, fresh produce, and baby animals of all varieties.