From American Catholic:
Abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, milk products or condiments made of animal fat.
Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat. Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are not forbidden. So it is permissible to use margarine and lard. Even bacon drippings which contain little bits of meat may be poured over lettuce as seasoning.
|In America, fasting from meat led to the fish fry as a|
Lenten tradition. (Public domain photo.)
I think the main reason, though I now have lost the place I originally read this, is that the original intent of fasting from meat is that we are fasting from ... flesh.
It is because Christ put on flesh to become man that we fast from it in penance for what He went through on our behalf.
A lovely connection isn't it?
At least it is to me.
And to have to dig into each ingredient turns it into an exercise in scrupulosity for me. I like that they make it easy for us that way.
I've always cooked with those sorts of guidelines for Friday fast days (heck, every Friday is a fast from meat at our house). So it's nice to see it spelled out ... no need for any vestiges of guilt when I put a bit of lard in our refried beans for those nachos!