Friday, December 26, 2008

Vegans and Cast Iron

Sometimes I do my best thinking when I'm asleep. Solutions to problems, recipes, and strange contemplative lines of thought often arise when I'm not yet awake. Maybe I'm having these thoughts at the moment that I'm actually waking up, and want to believe that these things happen when I'm sleeping. I'll probably never know. This morning, I had a strange thought about cast iron cookware and vegans. 

I sometimes entertain vegans, or vegetarians, and always want to do right by their dietary choices. Something in me gut is telling me that cast iron may not be the preferred cookware to prepare food for either in. The curing and cleaning processes of this amazing material may not lend itself to be truly vegan, especially if you use as much animal fat in your cooking as I do. Why I thought about this, I have no idea, but it is interesting to me. Vegans, what do you think? And what about everyone else? Should I just not use my legion of cast iron when cooking for those with an animal deficient diet? Cast iron makes up most of my cookware fleet, and there's bound to be some instance where its use is actually necessary. Thoughts?

9 comments:

TexasDeb said...

I believe in allowing folks to make informed choices. If you must use a cast iron pot to prepare a dish for vegan guests, then discuss this with them in advance and determine if this will be troublesome for them.

Flapjacks said...

probably not a bad idea. this doesn't come up too often, but as i said, i thought about this while sleeping, and wanted to throw it out there.

i should definitely ask if they feel comfortable eating out of something seasoned with duck, pork, and beef fat!

Laurie said...

I got a cast iron dutch oven for Christmas - it is my favorite cook gift ever.


If entertaining vegans - let them know what they're in for I guess. I'd probably detect the duck fat and not question it too much (flavors tend to stick in the cast iron - that's not such a bad thing), but anyone seriously hard core about it might have a fit.
If you're providing a meal with the stuff you have, and sharing it with friends - the thought should be appreciated, and I'm sure the food would get eaten.

Flapjacks said...

i guess this is the question here. when you heat a cast iron, it sanitizes it, but that doesn't mean that the flavor doesn't stay. i guess if i'm entertaining a non-omnivore, i'll just make sure and ask them what they prefer.

Professor Conti said...

Cast iron with animal fats cooked into it is okay by me. Slathering whatever you're cooking in fresh spoonfuls of duck fat, maybe not so much.

organicgoddess said...

I think for most "mature" vegans (folks who've been vegan for awhile), this wouldn't be a big deal. It's like the possible trace amounts of dairy that might show up in some non-dairy chocolate that is made on the same equipment as dairy-based chocolate. (It's not in the recipe, it's not intentional.) I've been vegan for 14+ years. I've learned to relax and not try to be perfect. My family and friends go out of their way to make me vegan meals, so I accept that hospitality with gratitude. I appreciate that you have given such thought to this.

Flapjacks said...

Thanks.

sheepguy42 said...

You could always abuse/strip one pan—or buy a new one—and [re]season it using olive oil or some other veg oil. Then dedicate that pan to veg cooking.

Flapjacks said...

i thought about that, too. that would be a cold and lonely skillet. i love to use my well seasoned cast irons to cook veg in for myself, but that would be a good alternative that would alleviate some concerns.

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