You might not recognize the name, but I guarantee you’ll recognize the package! I like to refer to this popular bar snack as a more refined version of Chex Mix.
It’s a simple, great-tasting snack that features a blend of rye chips, pretzels, and mini-breadsticks that are vibrantly seasoned for an exceptional flavour.
The real question is, “Are Gardetto’s vegan?”
The Original Gardetto’s as well as the Gardetto’s Rye Chips are 100% vegan. There are no animal-derived ingredients used (even in the Worcestershire sauce). However, stay away from the cheese-flavoured Gardetto’s, as these all contain real dairy.
Below, I’ll explain exactly which flavours of Gardetto’s are vegan. Then, I’ll answer all of your questions and show you what Gardetto’s are made of so you can see for yourself. Check it out!
Is Gardetto’s Original Vegan?
Gardetto’s date back to 1932, making them one of the oldest snacks on store shelves. Today, they’re commonly served at parties or found in convenience stores and vending machines.
Gardetto’s Original snacks (as well as the Reduced Fat Original variety) are all vegan. The only questionable additive is the small amount of refined sugar used in the Worcestershire sauce.
Other than that, the recipe either consists of plant-based ingredients or artificial baking additives.
Are There Anchovies In Gardetto’s?
Anchovies are small fish that are very similar to sardines. They’re commonly used as a pizza topping, eaten by themselves (pickled anchovies), or used to make fish sauce.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Gardetto’s is that they contain anchovies. Here’s why:
Anchovies are one of the key ingredients used to make traditional Worcestershire sauce, which is included in all Gardetto’s flavors.
So, it’s a valid concern worth addressing!
Thankfully, the Worcestershire sauce used by Gardetto’s is anchovy-free. They use a vegan-friendly variety, so their products can be eaten by both vegans and vegetarians alike!
What Are The Brown Chips In Gardetto’s?
The first time I ever tried Gardetto’s, I just remember really liking the dark brown chips. I had no idea what they were; I just knew that they were delicious. So, for those of you who are curious, the brown chips in Gardetto’s Snack Mix are rye chips.
Rye chips are just thin slices of rye bread that have been baked to crispiness. They’re essentially a super-thin slice of toast!
Are Gardetto’s Rye Chips Vegan?
Gardetto uses rye chips in all of their snack mixes. However, Gardetto’s also offers rye chips by themselves.
Gardetto’s Rye Chips are 100% vegan! They aren’t made with any dairy or other animal ingredients.
Rye bread, by itself, is just as vegan-friendly as normal bread. The only difference is that rye bread is made with rye flour, and is sometimes made exclusively with rye flour. Rye is a grain that’s very similar to wheat but is known for its nuttier texture and flavor.
What Flavors of Gardetto’s Are Vegan?
While Gardetto’s Original flavor is, by far, the best-selling variety, it’s not the only flavor they offer. So, here’s a simple visual outlining all of the non-vegan and vegan flavors of Gardetto’s:
|Vegan Gardetto’s Flavors||Non-Vegan Gardetto’s Flavors|
|Gardetto’s Original Snack Mix||Gardetto’s Chipotle Cheddar Snack Mix|
|Gardetto’s Original Reduced-Fat Snack Mix||Gardetto’s Italian Cheese Blend Snack Mix|
|Gardetto’s Deli-Style Mustard Pretzel Snack Mix||Gardetto’s Pizzeria Snack Mix|
|Gardetto’s Garlic Rye Chips|
Thankfully, the non-vegan Gardetto’s are all pretty easy to identify. Chipotle Cheddar and Italian Cheese Blend all clearly state that they contain cheese. As pizza always contains cheese, the Pizzeria Snack Mix is pretty obviously non-vegan as well.
What Are Gardetto’s Made Of? Ingredients Analyzed
For such a simple snack mix, Gardetto’s is made with a bunch of different ingredients. Some of them are all-natural and plant-based, while others are a bit more artificial.
For the sake of this breakdown, I used the ingredients list for Gardetto’s Original Snack Mix, made with rye chips, pretzels, and mini-breadsticks!
Here’s the short list of the ingredients:
Now, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients…
1) Enriched Wheat Flour
Enriched wheat flour is the number one ingredient in all three of the pieces in the Snack Mix. It’s the main ingredient in both the pretzels and the breadsticks and is used alongside rye flour to make the rye chips.
Enriched wheat flour is vegan-friendly since it’s just a natural plant-based powder made from drying and grinding the berries of the wheat plant into a fine powder. This powder is then enriched with added vitamins and minerals.
Thankfully, all of the vitamins and minerals used to make enriched wheat flour are vegan-friendly.
2) Vegetable Oil
All of the pieces in the Snack Mix are baked, not fried. Before they’re placed in the oven, they’re all coated with a thin layer of vegetable oil to help them cook evenly. According to the label, Gardetto’s are made with soybean or canola oil (or a mixture of the two).
Both of these cooking oils are sustainably sourced and don’t harm our rainforests like palm oil.
3) Rye Flour
Rye flour is an all-natural, vegan-friendly baking powder made by drying and grinding the rye grain, which is very similar to wheat. This is used to make the rye chips in Gardetto’s Snack Mix.
Salt is used to strengthen the dough of all three of the pieces in Gardetto’s Snack Mix. When salt is added to the dough, it makes the dough firmer and more bread-like instead of soft and cake-like. Salt, of course, is always vegan.
Yeast is a single-cell organism that’s used to bake bread. When yeast is added to the dough, the yeast consumes the sugar in the dough, releasing CO2 gas that causes the dough to rise due to the trapped air bubbles.
Yeast is vegan-friendly. In fact, many vegans consume nutritional yeast as a seasoning!
A bit of sugar (specifically, refined sugar) is used to season the Snack Mix. When combined with the spices, it creates a “sweet n’ spicy” flavor that’s quite wonderful.
That being said, some vegans may take issue with this ingredient.
To make refined sugar, raw cane sugar must be filtered through animal bone char to remove its outer layer, revealing a pure sugar crystal.
Since this refining process involves animal by-products, many vegans boycott products that use refined white sugar. Instead, they look for products that use cane sugar, which has yet to be refined or processed using bone char.
Ultimately, though, sugar is still a plant-based food. So, there are just as many vegans who don’t have a problem with white sugar as there are vegans who don’t agree with it.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a seasoning powder that’s designed to mimic savory flavors that our taste buds pick up on. When our tongue tastes MSG, it sends signals to our brain as if we just ate something savory like meat or cheese, even though it’s completely artificial.
While MSG may taste similar to meat, it’s 100% vegan.
8) Corn Syrup
Even though these chips aren’t all that sweet, they still contain a bit of added corn syrup for extra sweetness. Corn syrup is 100% vegan and is a plant-based sweetener, though, so there are no issues here.
9) Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is often a very problematic ingredient for vegans. This is because most Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it. Thankfully, though, Gardetto’s are made with a vegan-friendly, anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce.
10) Baking Soda
Baking soda is a common baking additive that’s used in all of the Snack Mix pieces. It helps the dough rise and gives it texture. Baking soda is just pure sodium bicarbonate, though, which is 100% vegan.
11) Barley Malt
Barley malt is a natural sweetener that’s derived from… you guessed it – barley. So, it’s vegan and safe to eat!
12) Caramel Color
Caramel color is added to some of the Snack Mix pieces to give them a more appealing golden color. This makes them look like they were just fresh-baked in an oven (even though they’ve probably been sitting on store shelves for six months).
The caramel color is mostly artificial and is vegan.
The label clearly states that Gardetto’s Snack Mix is seasoned with garlic and onion powder. Outside of those two clear ingredients, though, they’ve done a good job of keeping their family spice recipe a secret from the outside world. Thankfully, spices are always vegan!
14) Fumaric Acid
Fumaric acid is a natural acidic compound that’s often used in baking. In this case, it’s used as a mold inhibitor to prevent mold from growing on the bread products. Since bread is traditionally very susceptible to mold, this is an important additive.
15) Disodium Inosinate
This chemically modified sodium molecule works in combination with MSG (mentioned above) to create an ultra-savory umami flavor profile. This is one of the reasons why Gardetto’s chips taste so flavorful. Since it’s a man-made chemical, it’s vegan.
16) Disodium Guanylate
This artificial chemical is very similar to disodium inosinate and is also used as a flavor enhancer.
17) Sodium Diacetate
Sodium diacetate is an antifungal agent used to prevent foods from molding. This means that it’s an artificial preservative.
18) BHT Preservative
Why not consume some more preservatives and chemicals while we’re at it? BHT is a common preservative that’s used in a number of processed foods. It’s vegan-friendly since it’s man-made in a lab.
The Verdict – Are Gardetto’s Vegan-Friendly?
As long as you stay away from the few flavors that contain cheese and dairy, Gardetto’s are generally vegan-friendly! That being said, they’re far from healthy. As you can see, Gardetto’s are made with loads of artificial preservatives and chemicals.
If you’re looking for great-tasting, all-natural chips, then check out my list of the best vegan chips brands instead!