If you or someone close to you suffers from an egg allergy then I shan’t patronise you by pointing out eggs can be found in many cakes, biscuits and puddings, And I definitely wont alert you to the fact egg on toast contains egg. Because that would be stupid.
But sometimes allergens pop up in seemingly unlikely places.
Even after years of scouring ingredients labels, every now and then I’m thrown a curveball by some manufacturer shoving egg in a place I’m really not expecting.
Here are some examples:
A lot of ice cream contains egg – particularly the posh stuff, or homemade. But you’ve checked the box and Strawberry Cornettos are egg-free. Brilliant. They’re currently on a buy-one-get-one-free offer at the supermarket. Bonus! So you might as well throw in a box of Classico Cornettos too, yes? Well, no actually, because the Classicos harbour an eggy intruder in the form of meringue. So stick to the strawberry ones.
I’ve yet to get my head around what Quorn actually is (a mushroom derivative? Third cousin twice removed of the soya bean?), but I do know it’s a quick and easy fajita filling for those days when you’ve forgotten to stop off at the butcher’s shop. Unless your son has an egg allergy, of course, in which case it’s time to defrost those chicken breasts. Or make life easy and give him a cheese sandwich instead. (Disclaimer: This article relates solely to Quorn chicken-style pieces/fillets. Quorn do a range of vegan ready meals, so some of their products must be egg-free, however I can only speak about the products I use myself).
This one’s a real headscratcher. Homemade pesto should not contain egg. Filippo Berio, my usual brand of jarred pesto, does not contain egg. In fact, I cannot think of any reason why pesto should contain egg, so I was surprised to see it listed in the ingredients of Aldi’s red and green pesto. The offending item appears to be the cheese, which contains lysozyme (an enzyme derived from egg). Thankfully none of this matters in our household, because Eric does not like pesto, so my partner and I can carry on eating whichever brand we happen to have in the cupboard. But if he ever decides to start adding it to his diet, we’ll have to rethink our strategy.
I used to really feel sorry for Eric when I watched him at birthday parties, surrounded by children eating cake while he nibbled hommous off a carrot stick. Admittedly that was before he started to talk and therefore annoy me as much as he does now, but still. To make up for the lack of cake, I once pledged to make him some of my mum’s famous Rice Krispie traycake. It was only when I got home with the ingredients – which included Mars bars – that I realised he wouldn’t be able to eat it. Perhaps I should have known this, but in my defence Mars ice creams do not contain egg, and having already checked the ingredients in those I’d (wrongly) assumed the bars would be safe.
Like pesto, chocolate fingers present another one of those situations where one brand is ‘safe’, but another will bring an egg allergy-sufferer out in a rash quicker than you can say “just three for me, thanks. I’m on a diet”. Again, it’s the Aldi ones that have egg in, which is a shame because I prefer them to Cadbury’s (- they’re bigger, with thicker chocolate and, in my opinion, a tastier biscuit- ). I should point out I’ve not checked any other own-label chocolate fingers, but will sample some more and update my findings. Purely in the name of research, obviously.
This one should be obvious. The fact I sent my partner out for a sandwich and he returned with one smothered in salad cream suggests it’s not. When I was breastfeeding Eric and therefore had to avoid egg myself, salad cream and mayo were probably the thing I missed most. You can bake an egg-free cake but I challenge anyone to find a decent egg-free alternative to Heinz salad cream, or any salad cream for that matter (I tried, but they all tasted pretty rank).
So there you have it. A brief run down of some of the places egg has popped up to surprise me. Can you add to the list? Please comment below if you can think of any I’ve missed.