Know what you’re eating
Anyone who has food allergies knows that allergens are added to the strangest items. Dishes that have never been a threat, now are since chefs are trying to be innovate to create new flavors. For instance, derivatives of milk are in chalk, mints, gum, fake crab and French fries. Some cooks butter the steaks and coat the grill with butter instead of oil. A waitress at P.F. Chang’s said their meat, including chicken and shrimp, are soaked in milk. On a television show called Dinners, Dine-Ins and Dives, a chef cooked pulled-pork in a vat of spices and cow’s milk.
Many Indian dishes, that people think of vegan, are made with yogurt and ghee (clarified butter). Italian minestrone, a soup made with white beans, vegetables and pasta is sometimes cooked with a cheese rind. Many white breads are made with non-fat dried milk.
You just never know where allergens are lurking. When dining out I always have to remind myself to ask the wait staff if any dairy is in the dish I ordered, even if it is a tofu and vegetable stir-fry.
I am really shocked that P.F. Changs soaks their food in milk. I think they should put that information on their menus with an asterisk since so many people assume that Chinese food is milk-free. And, quite a few people I know are lactose intolerant.
I was surprised too. I left a message for the corporate office at P.F. Chang’s to find out if that’s true for all locations or just that one. I’ll let you know what they say.
P.F. Chang’s called me back and said their meats are marinated, but not in milk. That waitress told me the wrong information, no surprise there. Some of their sauces contain dairy though. They have an allergen list that is available via email and at the restaurant, but not listed on-line. They will email it to me.
It is very unfortunate that a diner cannot trust what the wait staff says. It would be better if each restaurant had available for their staff printed sheets detailing all allergens. I think it’s wonderful that you are doing all this research. You are doing a great service to all those people who have allergies and other dietary restrictions. Many thanks.