Vegetarian cuisine is based on food that meets vegetarian standards by not including meat and animal tissue products (such as gelatin or animal-derived rennet). For lacto-ovo vegetarianism (the most common type of vegetarianism in the Western world), eggs and dairy products such as milk and cheese are permitted. For lacto vegetarianism, the earliest known type of vegetarianism (recorded in India), dairy products such as milk and cheese are permitted. The strictest forms of vegetarianism are veganism and fruitarianism, which exclude all animal products, including dairy, honey, and some refined sugars if filtered and whitened with bone char.
Vegetarian foods can be classified into several different types:
- Traditional foods that have always been vegetarian include cereals, grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. - Soy products including tofu and tempeh which are common protein sources. - Textured vegetable protein (TVP), made from defatted soy flour, often included in chili and burger recipes in place of ground meat. - Meat analogues, which mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of meat and are often used in recipes that traditionally contained meat. - Eggs and dairy product analogues in vegan cuisine (such as aquafaba, plant cream or plant milk).