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Is Turkish Delight Vegan? The Answer May Surprise You

If you’re plant-based, vegan, or simply trying to avoid dairy, then finding a sweet treat that doesn’t list milk, butter, or cream in its ingredients can be a challenge. The good news is, traditional Turkish delight is 100% dairy-free - so does that make Turkish delight vegan? Well, the answer is yes and no. 

Is Turkish Delight Dairy Free?

Traditional Turkish delight is made using cornflour, cream of tartar, sugar, water, and flavoring and therefore contains no dairy whatsoever. So long as manufacturers stick to the traditional recipe, then their Turkish delight will remain dairy-free. The problem is, some recipes have been altered over the years, either to be lower in sugar or easier to make, and these recipes can use whey powder and milk-based ingredients such as cream or even cream cheese! Another common reason why some Turkish delight may not be dairy-free is if it has been dipped in chocolate. Even some varieties of dark chocolate still contain whey powder or milk-based ingredients. 

Is Turkish Delight Vegan?

Traditional Turkish delight is 100% vegan; however, some modern recipes now use gelatine as a setting agent. This means that although a Turkish delight recipe may be dairy-free, it still might not be vegan if gelatine has been used in the recipe. Here at Ayoub’s, all of our Turkish delights are vegan because they are made in the traditional way without gelatine. To make sure that your Turkish delight is vegan, always keep an eye out for a vegan accreditation, and give the ingredients a once over to check for dairy, gelatine, or any other animal-based ingredients. 

What About Vegan Food Colorings?

Some Turkish delight may not be vegan if a non-vegan food coloring has been used. Certain food colorings, such as natural red 4, also known as E120, come from animal origin, in this instance, an insect known as cochineal. 

Is Cream Of Tartar Vegan?

Cream of tartar is a stabilizer. It features in many Turkish delight recipes because it helps to stop the sugar from crystallizing. Despite its name, cream or tartar actually contains no dairy products and so is considered vegan by most standards. However, it’s important to note that some vegans do not like to consume cream of tartar because of how it is produced. Cream of tartar is a byproduct of the wine industry in which some of the fining agents used aren’t vegan. Although cream of tartar itself is vegan, some vegans choose not to consume cream of tartar unless the manufacturer can guarantee no contamination from animal-based fining agents. 

May 17, 2021 by Gillian Brady
Tags: sweets