KFC is a major chicken fast food company across the globe. This is why it comes as no surprise that the food on the KFC menu is unsuitable for a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, however, you may be wondering whether it is safe to eat the special KFC gravy with your fries.
Whilst you may be under the impression that eating KFC gravy would be harmless, you would be actually wrong. KFC Gravy is actually unsuited for a vegan or a vegetarian lifestyle as one of the main ingredients to make the gravy includes chicken fat.
In addition, there is some evidence to show that the recipe also calls for chicken crackling, gravy powder and water mixed together to make their signature gravy, which is inherently unsuitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
What is in KFC Gravy?
With fast food restaurants, it can be hard to find out exactly how and with what the recipes are made.
KFC makes it difficult to find out what exactly is in their gravy, however, they have published what goes into making their mashed potatoes and gravy, and so by process of elimination, we can work out how the gravy is made.
When we study the ingredients list of the mashed potatoes on the KFC menu, we can see exactly what is used. In comparison to the mashed potatoes with gravy, we can understand what is used for the potatoes, and what is used for the gravy. For example, let’s look at the ingredient lists for both.
Potatoes, Whey Product (Containing: Whey Solids, Nonfat Milk, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate), Salt, mono and Diglycerides, Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate, Sodium Bisulfate, Natural Flavors, Natural Colors, Citric Acid, and Spice.
This compared with the Mashed Potato With Gravy: Potatoes, Whey Product (Containing: Whey Solids, Nonfat Milk, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate), Salt, mono and Diglycerides, Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate, Sodium Bisulfate, natural Flavors, Natural Colors, Citric Acid, and Spice. And Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Food Starch – Modified, Maltodextrin, Chicken Fat, Palm and Canola Oils, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Dextrose, Mono and Diglycerides, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Caramel Color (Contains Up To 20 PPM Sulfites), Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Spice, Butter (Cream), With Not More Than 2% Silicon Dioxide Added As An Anti-Caking Agent.
By the process of elimination, we can see that the Gravy is made with:
Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Food Starch – Modified, Maltodextrin, Chicken Fat, Palm and Canola Oils, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Dextrose, Mono and Diglycerides, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Caramel Color (Contains Up To 20 PPM Sulfites), Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Spice, Butter (Cream), With Not More Than 2% Silicon Dioxide Added As An Anti-Caking Agent.
Some of the biggest red flags when going through this list is the fact that there is chicken fat and palm oils present in the gravy. This would make the gravy seriously unsuitable for a vegan lifestyle and diet.
How is KFC Gravy Made?
You may have already heard horror stories about how KFC Gravy is made, but we have uncovered the truth. Whilst it is proven that KFC uses chicken fat, gravy powder, water and chicken crackling, the latter is not always available. The chicken crackling is derived from scraps of chicken and breadcrumbs that have fallen or been filtered out of the deep fat fryer when cooking.
These are collected and used to flavor the KFC Gravy, however these are not always readily available. This means that if there is no crackling, then the KFC Gravy is typically made with just the gravy powder and water, which would make it vegan.
However, due to issues with cross contamination, and the fact you never really know how this food is prepared, it is best for vegans and vegetarians to give the KFC Gravy a wide berth.
Is KFC Gravy Vegetarian?
Given the fact that there is chicken fat present in the KFC Gravy ingredients list, it is safe to say that KFC Gravy is not suitable for vegetarians, as the dish is made of an animal product, making it also unsuitable for vegans, too.
Is KFC Gravy Gluten Free?
As KFC Gravy contains enriched wheat flour in its ingredients, the gravy is also unsuitable for those who are gluten intolerant or gluten free.
What is KFC Gravy Made of?
Just like with their signature coating which covers their chicken, the ingredients that create the delicious taste of KFC gravy are a mystery. However, while we might not know everything that goes into KFC gravy, there is one ingredient that has been confirmed by KFC staff and that is ‘crackling’.
Crackling is the leftover juices that lay at the bottom of the fryers which cook the chicken, and it is this which gives KFC gravy its unique flavor. It is also these which cause KFC gravy not to be suitable for vegetarians.
What can a Vegetarian eat at KFC?
As a vegetarian, a restaurant that has the word ‘chicken’ in its name might seem off-putting. However, there’s no need to fret as there are quite a few vegetarian options available at KFC. One of these options is the Plant-Based Sandwich which recently replaced their veggie sandwich.
Another is the vegan burger which is available periodically throughout the year. As well as this, the mashed potato which KFC sells is also suitable for vegetarians as it does not come into contact with any meat or meat by-products during the cooking process.
Is KFC suitable for Vegetarians?
Even though KFC might not be the first choice if you are a vegetarian, there are some options that are suitable for vegetarians. These options are limited, but if you find yourself at KFC and are unclear what to eat, there are some foods available that are perfectly safe for vegetarians.
However, it is important that you do not fall into the trap of believing that their fries are suitable for vegetarians. While some restaurants cook their fries separately, KFC cooks their fries in the same fat as their chicken, meaning that they are not safe for vegetarians to eat.
To conclude, KFC Gravy is not suitable for vegans, vegetarians or even those who are gluten free, as the main ingredient in the recipe is enriched wheat flour. This, along with its chicken derivatives, makes KFC Gravy unsuitable for a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
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