Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Make Sure You Read the Label!

When we traveled in Croatia two summers ago we brought back a bag of a popular salt and spice mix called Vegeta. It is herbs and salt that were great sprinkled on meat, veggies, added to soups, etc. I never really knew what was in it because all of the labels were in Croatian, Greek, or Russian (I think). After I used up my first bag I hunted to replace it. I was overjoyed when I found it at Fubon - for only a buck or two.

This weekend while making soup I opened my new package and was about to add it into the pot when I noticed this package had English labeling on it. Now I would know what makes this mix so wonderful, added a bit of something extra to every dish I make with it.

Well! Vegeta is basically MSG! MSG is my arch-cooking-enemy. My whole family works hard to avoid every eating it! And here I have been sprinkling it willy-nilly on most of my savory dishes, feeling quite continental! MSG is a tricky ingredient, appearing under hundreds of different names. Eaters with MSG sensitivities would be hard pressed to find ANY processed food that is without MSG. Scarily, even if a label proclaims NO MSG, it is most likely listed under ingredients under one of it's other names.

Here is a short list of MSG ingredients: gelatin, calcium caseinate, HVP, textured protein, yeast extract, monopotassium glutimate, vegetable protien, autolyzed yeast, anything ending with -ate or -lyzed.

Please heed my warning. Read labels, and avoid Vegeta!

(Now does anyone have any great spice/salt combos?)


  1. Thanks for the heads-up. It's appreciated

  2. We have a bottle of Vegeta in our pantry that we picked up at a Polish store, but I have not used it yet - and now I may not!

  3. Oh, this post is so funny! We love bringing back strange and unusual local ingredients when we travel (supermarkets are a tourist must for us) so this is very funny. Poor you! At least you had the groovy package as a souvenir!