What condiments are permitted during Lenten abstinence?


I have read The Law of Abstinence, which says clearly that meat is forbidden, but not eggs, milk, or “condiments made of animal fat.” This rule led to an Ash Wednesday discussion between my wife and I about whether the words condiments made of animal fat might include gravy, as well as beef or poultry broth.

I have always taken it for granted that I am to avoid these things during the Fridays of Lent. However, could “condiments made of animal fat” include gravy or broth? Also, is it permissible to season greens or beans with a piece of meat (such as salt pork) if the meat is not being eaten?


As Jimmy Akin explains in recent articles on the subject of Lent:

[T]he law of abstinence forbids the eating dishes principally or substantially comprised of the flesh of land-dwelling mammals and birds (trace amounts of meat and other parts of the body besides meat do not count).

This means that foods made with animal fat (e.g., broth and gravy) and foods seasoned with animal fat (e.g., salt-pork-seasoned beans and gravy) are permitted. It even means that you can eat the bit of salt pork you’ve used for seasoning and that you can eat soup with meat, because the meat generally is considered a trace amount and not a principal or substantial portion of the dish.

**Recommended reading:

Lent Resources** by Jimmy Akin
Lenten Reader Roundup by Jimmy Akin

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