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Is Dijon mustard vegan?

The ingredients listed on the jar are: water, mustard seeds, vinegar, citric acid, sulphur dioxide (preservative). The reason I'm asking is, I am making a side dish of asparagus with hazelnuts and tarragon vinaigrette from the epicurious site, but when I searched for the recipe on that site and used 'vegan" as a parameter, it was not listed. The recipe ingredients are asparagus, shallots, white wine vinegar, tarragon, Dijon mustard, olive oil, hazelnuts. I'm puzzled as to why it doesn't fit the vegan parameter, so the only thing I could think is that perhaps something in the Dijon mustard disqualifies it from being vegan. Or perhaps it depends on the particular Dijon mustard you're using. Anyway, I'm getting off track. So is Dijon mustard, particularly as I have described the jar I have, vegan? I don't want to misrepresent any dish to my vegan guest.

Many thanks in advance.

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  1. Mine has sugar as an ingredient. That might be the issue. Maybe if you use yours it will be vegan. And now that I've taken a look as this label, I think I need a different mustard.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Glencora

      @glencora, why is sugar not considered vegan? Have they been sneaking animal parts into it? adam

      1. re: adamshoe

        Oh, it's something I read on Chowhound -- that some sugar is made using bone char. Since I'm very far from being a vegan, it's just a random fact floating around in my head. I was just trying to figure out how the recipe could possibly not be vegan.

        1. re: adamshoe

          Adam, others more knowledgeable may correct me, but it's my understanding that part of the sugar refining process utilizes charred animal bones, so it doesn't qualify as vegan or vegetarian.

          1. re: lisavf

            Certain sugars are most certainly vegan -- there are brands that are labeled as such. The bone char is used to whiten the sugar so vegan sugar is not pure white.

        2. re: Glencora

          Right, no sugar in mine (Maille). That's why I got the jar out, just to check. So I feel confident now that it will be okay.

        3. Sounds like 100% vegan to me. When would a mustard NOT be vegan?? Unless they use chicken stock or eggs (which I've never seen in mustard) or it's a honey mustard (don't want to enslave those bees...) you should be fine. adam

          2 Replies
          1. re: adamshoe

            Agreed. You answered your own question by posting the ingredients--nothing in there could possibly have an animal product.

            1. re: ryansm

              Thanks, all. That's what I thought, but I wanted to be sure. I never had reason to pay attention to this issue before, and I just want to do right by my guest.

          2. I think that the reason things with "sugar" are not considered vegan is because when an ingredient is listed as "sugar" it means refined sugar. All or most white refined sugars are filtered through charcoal. And, the charcoal is animal bone charcoal.

            I honestly have no factual evidence of this, I have just seen and heard about it quite a lot recently.

            Maybe there is a mustard that is unsweetened or is sweetened with something that is not refined?

            3 Replies
            1. re: MinkeyMonkey

              Dopey me... and here I thought charcoal was just made of charred wood! So, are charcoal briquettes vegan or made w/ animal bones? adam

              1. re: adamshoe

                I honestly don't know, Adam. But, you could always go to a vegan forum as they usually know. I can't imagine any reason for using animal bones for charcoal.

                1. re: adamshoe

                  Charcoal is vegan.

                  Bone char is different stuff. Given the name, it should not come as a surprise that it isn't.

              2. epicurious recipe searches are far from infallible.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pikawicca

                  Agreed. That's why I wanted to check with the 'hounds - I know you'll never steer me wrong.

                2. Sounds vegan to me! Who is vegan! ;)