Ask Auntie

Gelatin? Gelatine?

Q. What is Gelatine? Is Gelatin the same thing? Is it vegetarian or vegan? Where does it come from?

Asks Mel in Essex.

A. Blimey Mel, not just one question but three, you do want to keep me busy don’t you?

Firstly, gelatin (US spelling) and gelatine (English spelling) are exactly the same thing. Because P&G is based in the lovely English countryside, gelatine is how you will see it spelt on this website!

Now that the spelling is out of the way let’s get on with the rest of your questions:

Is gelatine vegetarian or vegan?

No, it mostly certainly is not! But don’t panic, there are alternative gelling agents available for those who are unhappy with the way gelatine is produced or who follow a meat/animal product free diet. Amongst other things Irish moss, vegetable gum or agar agar can be used instead.

Where does it come from?

In brief, it’s a protein substance, produced by boiling the connective tissue, bones and skins of animals – most commonly horse, cow, pig etc,and skimming off the resulting gelatinous stuff.

You might not find that a particularly savoury image but it is definitely the most reliable and easiest way to create jelly, pannacotta and other such wonderful wobbly delights.

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