Fritos are one of the most famous corn chips that have been a household favorite globally for more than 80 years! Whether it’s eaten solo or as an essential component of a dish, this crispy salt cracker is a filling snack, to say the least.
However, for all those who enforce sustainable eating habits – there is only one question that comes to mind, “are Fritos vegan?” In this article, we discuss how Fritos are made, and dissect the Fritos ingredient label to give you a clear insight into what you’re consuming. Right from Fritos BBQ chips to Fritos scoops, we are going to assess all the Fritos Flavors to inform you about any Fritos flavors that can or cannot be consumed by vegans.
Fritos – Brand Overview
Fritos is an American brand of corn chips that was started by Charles Elmer Doolin after his experience of trying corn chips in Mexico. These salted chips are made out of just three ingredients: corn, corn oil, and salt. Fritos have been on the market for more than 80 years and are usually the first brand that comes to mind when thinking about corn chips.
Are Fritos Vegan?
The classic Fritos are vegan. However, since the original was first released, several flavors have come out that may not be vegan. Even though flavors such as Fritos BBQ chips and Fritos scoops are vegan, others like Fritos flavored twists and flaming hot are not vegan! Moreover, for all those chilli cheese fans that were wondering “are chilli cheese Fritos vegan?” – the answer is that chilli cheese Fritos ingredients are sadly non-vegan.
How Are Fritos Made?
Fritos follow a basic corn-chip recipe that involves salt and oil. Its ingredients to be specific are-
- Cornmeal that has been stone-ground or another fine cornmeal
- Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- Optional vegetable oil for frying
The procedure is not very complex and involves simple steps.
Step 1. One must set aside two pieces of parchment that are the same size as a baking sheet, then one must boil about a 3/4 cup of water.
Step 2. Next, combine cornmeal and salt in a small mixing dish, and mix with the help of a fork till the batter is smooth. If required, add extra hot water 1 teaspoon at a time until the batter is thick and somewhat runny.
Step 3. Scrape the batter into the center of one piece of parchment on a work surface, and then cover with a second layer of paper and roll out the batter to a thickness of about 33 inches. You can remove the paper from the top sheet and cut the batter into small rectangles. Then finally, bake it till it’s golden brown.
Step 4. Set aside, a paper towel-lined plate. Heat some vegetable oil in a small skillet for 1 to 2 minutes. Lastly, go on to fry half of the chips before draining them on a paper towel using a metal strainer.
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Flavors Of Fritos
Vegan Frito Flavors
- Lightly Salted
- Fritos Scoops
Non-Vegan Frito Flavors
- Classic Ranch
- Honey BBQ
- Flammin’ Hot
- Chili Cheese
- Spicy Jalapeno
- Flavor Twists Honey BBQ
1. Fritos Original Corn Chips
The Fritos Original Corn Chip Flavour is one of the most popular classic flavors – and one of the best vegan options. These 100% vegan chips are made of only three basic ingredients- whole corn, corn oil, and salt, and thus do not contain any animal-based ingredients.
2. Fritos Scoops Corn Chips
Just like the Fritos Original Corn Chip Flavour, the Fritos Scoops Corn Chips are also vegan. It contains no animal-based items and uses corn, corn oil, and salt as its key ingredients. Moreover, Fritos scoops are also gluten-free, with no artificial flavors and preservatives.
3. Fritos Flamin Hot & Fritos Chili Cheese
Both the Fritos Flamin Hot and Fritos Chili Cheese flavors are disappointingly not vegan. Besides the three base ingredients, namely whole corn, corn oil, and salt, they also contain two different types of cheese. The rennet cheese they use is extracted from goat or sheep’s stomach lining. The cheddar cheese, on the other hand, is made of milk and is not plant-based. Moreover, whey- another milk-based product is used to improve the chip texture, making these two flavors non-vegan!
4. Fritos Honey Bar-B-Q Twists
Fritos Honey BBQ Twists are not only non-vegan but also one of the most processed Fritos chips. Besides cheese, they also contain honey and eggs – making them non-vegan and not vegetarian. Moreover, they also use artificial colors that are non-vegan and should be avoided by all those who practice sustainable eating.
5. Fritos Bar-B-Q
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the nature of Fritos Bar BBQ; however, to break it down for you, these Fritos are non-vegan. This is because the sugar they contain despite being plant-based is processed using the bone char refining process. Moreover, the artificial colors are synthetically produced, making them non-vegan. These chips are also tested on animals to be declared fit for human consumption. These processes make the status of these chips blurry and hence leave it up to the consumer to pick- if they’re vegan or not.
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So, are Fritos vegan?
Both yes and no. While certain flavors are vegan, a large majority of Fritos contain animal-based ingredients making them non-vegan.
If you’re willing to look at other brands, there are alternative options one can opt for. While addressing the question, “what chips can vegans eat” – we discovered options such as certain pringles and Dorito flavors that one can try! However, for the ones who wish to stick to Fritos, the Original and Fritos Scoops variants are the only viable options. However, it’s best to find a vegan brand going forward if these chips aren’t your personal favorites.