People shocked to learn Parmesan cheese isn't vegetarian

Foodies are discovering that Parmesan cheese is NOT vegetarian – and the reason has them left them ‘crying’

  • Social media users are shocked to learn that Parmesan cheese isn’t vegetarian
  • The iconic cheese from Italy traditionally uses animal rennet as an ingredient 
  • This is sometimes made from the dried out stomach of a young animal
  • READ MORE: Have YOU tried ‘The Soup’? Viral recipe for slow cooker chicken and spinach soup with tortellini sends foodies wild

Social media users are bewildered to learn that traditionally, Parmesan isn’t vegetarian – and uses the organ of a baby cow in production.

People are admitting that they were ‘today years old’ when they learned about the inclusion of ‘rennet’ – which is made by enzymes in the lining of calves’ stomachs – in the iconic cheese.

According to animal welfare group PETA, many brands, particularly in the US will now use vegetable rennet instead, but the discovery was still shocking to Twitter users.

The method of preparing Parmesan – or Parmigiano Reggiano –  is beloved in its origin country of Italy, and traditionally uses just three ingredients; milk, salt and rennet, cooking site Kitchn says.

The method of preparing Parmesan – or Parmigiano Reggiano – is beloved in its origin country of Italy, and traditionally uses just three ingredients; milk, salt and rennet (stock image)

It also says that Parmigiano Reggiano is a Protected Domination of Origin (PDO) cheese, meaning that it can’t carry the name without following strict procedure and testing.

Culture Cheese Magazine explains that animal rennet is made when a calf (or another young creature) is killed and its stomach is dried, so it becomes solid.

Depending on the scale of production and where you are in the world, the next steps usually involve the dried organ being cut into pieces and preserved.

Then, when it’s time for the ingredient to be used, the rennet is rehydrated in some water. This water is then added into milk.

While, according to animal welfare group PETA , many brands, particularly in the US will use vegetable rennet instead, the discovery was still shocking for its origins (stock image)

People are admitting that they were ‘today years old’ when they learned about the inclusion of ‘rennet’ – which is made by enzymes in the lining of calves’ stomachs – in the iconic cheese

Horrified Twitter users were horrified to learn about the origins of the ingredient.

‘Today years old when I found out Parmesan cheese is made from baby cow’s stomach & I could go cry,’ one animal lover wrote. ‘I’m just gonna have to full vegan at this point.’

‘PARMESAN CHEESE IS NOT VEGETARIAN??!?!!!???!??? WTF,’ another exclaimed.  

 ‘I just can’t,’ a third horrified user penned, ‘I’m done.’

Social media users are bewildered to learn that traditionally, Parmesan isn’t vegetarian – and uses the organ of a baby cow in production

‘Dairy is scary,’ a fourth admitted.

However, others also pointed out that calf stomach is not as commonly used anymore. 

‘Most cheese is now made with chymosin from bacterial sources, rather than animal rennet,’ one poster chipped in.

Another added: ‘They use Genetically modified Bacteria to create the enzymes now.’

READ MORE: 

Have YOU tried ‘The Soup’? Viral recipe for slow cooker chicken and spinach soup with tortellini sends foodies wild

‘I’m turning vegan!’ Video of freshly cut meat SPASMING leaves Twitter horrified (but there’s a fascinating explanation)

Heinz means NUGGETS! Brand launches new meat-free range of battered snacks made from beans and vegetables

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