Jump to content

Menu

What does it really mean for a food to be kosher?


pinkmint
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am wondering this and haven't even been able to get a straight answer from Google. 

 

Interestingly, I always would buy kosher pickles without thinking about it. Then one day I bought not-kosher pickles (same brand, same type of pickle) thinking there's no difference. They tasted significantly different and not as good. How can this be? What does it mean for a food to be kosher?

Edited by pinkmint
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the non-Kosher pickles must have simply used a different recipe than the ones you normally eat. Pickles aren't really the sort of thing that can be Kosher or not, unless, I don't know, you like to dip your pickles in lard before you eat them, however, there are of course many different ways you can make pickles! You can use different herbs and spices, you can salt-brine them rather than using vinegar - lots of options. So Kosher pickles are usually pickles that taste more or less like the ones Jews brought to the US with them when they immigrated, and other types of pickles are from other culinary traditions.

 

Kosher salt is the salt you use for making meat Kosher, I looked that one up a while ago.

 

This looks to be a fairly thorough explanation of Kosher in general, but of course, as I understand it, different people can follow the rules to different levels of strictness and still consider themselves to be observant Jews.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They practice certain sanitary practices and a kosher kitchen is inspected by a Rabi.  There are some rules, but no it's not necessarily about the recipe with many foods.  Any food you see that little "U" in the circle with the K is Kosher.  I think the term "parve" also means that.

 

Some rules are things like meat and dairy cannot touch.  Strictly they aren't to be consumed in the same meal either. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you keep kosher in your home, there are rules about your plates and utensils only touching kosher foods - you have to have different sets for meat, for example. And for Passover because there are different rules.

 

My understanding from some Jewish friends is that the little kosher symbols are done by different groups/rabbis and that there are some that are seen as more lax or more strict meaning that some groups of people won't trust the kosher symbol from a certain rabbi.

 

A friend who keeps kosher in her house had someone come visit who simply would not abide by the rules. To all us non-Jews, I admit they do seem very specific. The whole thing about wet food vs. dry food on plates is one that has bitten me bringing things to a friend's house a couple of times. I'm like, gee, I thought that was dry!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend that keeps kosher.  It fascinates me, though it is a LOT of extra work for her with 5 kids.  She has to always assume that there won't be food available and have enough for her kids for whatever/whenever they go off.

 

She taught my child in a cooking class in a co-op that we did together.  The food was all pareve to make it easier for the class.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO any food marked Kosher is the best possible quality one can buy.  We live in an area of Colombia where a lot of Sugar is produced.  When I buy Sugar, I look for brands that have the Kosher seal (there are 2 or 3 different ones) on them. Kosher Meat is top quality. Etc.     It is not that a Rabbi has "blessed' the product or something, it is how the product is handled, from start to finish.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on your specific religious beliefs; Reform Jews often have a different idea of what is Kosher than the Orthodox or Ultra-Orthodox.

 

It has nothing to do with pickles, though.  In that case it is more a cultural/type distinction than a religious one, as you can't really kosher or not-kosher a pickle.

 

Most kosher laws are related to meat and milk. There are many and they are complicated.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For food to be considered kosher there are specific rules.

 

In the most basic form:

Animals must be slaughtered as humanely as possible.

All fruits and vegetables are kosher in their natural form.

The kosher designation has to do with processing.

A head of lettuce is kosher.  Once the market prebags it, it may no longer be kosher. Depending on the processing.

 

Processed foods-jarred pickles, bagged salad, food mixes, etc. have to follow certain rules in order to be considered kosher for purchase.  There is a job that is filled by the person overseeing the process.

 

The laws for a person to follow in their home is a whole nother ball of wax.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parve means you can eat it with milk or meat foods.

 

Yeah I used to know the details better.  We studied that in culinary school.  I never worked in a kosher specific kitchen though.

 

Once had a client I cooked for who screamed about our lack of kosher practices.  She also got mad when we didn't put the cheese on her burger.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kosher Meat is top quality. Etc.

Or it is all top quality meat being produced in that facility , and processed in the same machines, but it is handled and stored carefully according to Kosher guidelines.

I know this to be true because I have family that has worked in several production plants for the last 25 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interestingly, some people who keep kosher won't eat food that doesn't appear Kosher.  For example, since you don't mix milk and meat, I've known people who wouldn't put cheese on a veggie burger, because it wouldn't appear kosher.  There's a ton of complicated rules, and each family has somewhat different practices.

 

My family kept a 1 hour rule---you couldn't have milk within 1 hour of eating meat.  My in-laws have a 3 hour rule.  We go with the 3 hour rule.  There's also rules about fish---even though fish can be eaten during a meal with either milk or meat, many families eat fish on a separate plate from either milk or meat.

 

But yeah, kosher pickles, kosher hot dogs, and kosher salt all refer to a style of food, and the actual products may or may not be kosher.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But yeah, kosher pickles, kosher hot dogs, and kosher salt all refer to a style of food, and the actual products may or may not be kosher.

 

 

And I assume some companies apply for the right to use the distinction on their product because it isn't much of a big deal to do so.  Like pickles.  If they are a pickle factory there isn't much to worry about. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding the pickles...  I believe that's a very particular process and recipe for making pickles.  I have a recipe for kosher pickles that sit in a salt crock and pickle that way (along with a bunch of other ingredients).  They taste like, and have the texture like the kosher pickles I know from good Jewish delis (oh how I miss those!).  But my kosher pickles aren't Kosher, KWIM? 

Edited by Audrey
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kosher products don't have the icky additives mainstream products have.

I wish that were true.  You can get all sorts of cr@p that is 1000% kosher, oftentimes even worse than mainstream stuff because smaller companies can't afford to make their food with the same quality as the regular stuff.  I'm looking at you cholov yisroel dairy products (some Jews insist that a Jew participate in the milking process in some way to ensure the milk is from a kosher animal and is of a higher level of kashrut (kosher in Hebrew)).  OU, OK, and other kosher dairy products that are not cholov yisroel are of much higher quality, with no yucky additives and gums/starches added.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish that were true.  You can get all sorts of [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script> that is 1000% kosher, oftentimes even worse than mainstream stuff because smaller companies can't afford to make their food with the same quality as the regular stuff.  I'm looking at you cholov yisroel dairy products (some Jews insist that a Jew participate in the milking process in some way to ensure the milk is from a kosher animal and is of a higher level of kashrut (kosher in Hebrew)).  OU, OK, and other kosher dairy products that are not cholov yisroel are of much higher quality, with no yucky additives and gums/starches added.

Ugh, yes.  And don't even get me started on all the gunk in Passover food.  It's like having to pay double for processed terrible food.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my friends who keeps kosher is always complaining that the worst thing about it for people who are really strict is the lack of restaurant selection. She says that there are only like four restaurants in a 45 minute radius that she can take her parents to and only one of them isn't totally gross. On the other hand, she and her family just eat vegetarian if they're out and call it good. Another friend will eat chicken or fish if she's out at a restaurant and says she doesn't worry too much about it but is super strict at home.

 

It's all really fascinating from the outside, honestly.

 

I can't stand any sorts of pickles though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my friends who keeps kosher is always complaining that the worst thing about it for people who are really strict is the lack of restaurant selection. She says that there are only like four restaurants in a 45 minute radius that she can take her parents to and only one of them isn't totally gross. On the other hand, she and her family just eat vegetarian if they're out and call it good. Another friend will eat chicken or fish if she's out at a restaurant and says she doesn't worry too much about it but is super strict at home.

 

It's all really fascinating from the outside, honestly.

 

I can't stand any sorts of pickles though...

I'm all about supporting other people's choices.

 

But I can't get behind not liking pickles. They are objectively AMAZING.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ugh, yes.  And don't even get me started on all the gunk in Passover food.  It's like having to pay double for processed terrible food.

I buy a bag of kosher for Passover potato chips every year, and every year I look at the ingredients and don't open it.  Ew.  Basically I make everything from scratch (use safflower oil and olive oil, no margarine, no cottonseed oil).  I can handle extra sugar, but not food starches and crap.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO any food marked Kosher is the best possible quality one can buy.  We live in an area of Colombia where a lot of Sugar is produced.  When I buy Sugar, I look for brands that have the Kosher seal (there are 2 or 3 different ones) on them. Kosher Meat is top quality. Etc.     It is not that a Rabbi has "blessed' the product or something, it is how the product is handled, from start to finish.  

 

My husband will disagree with you.  Ever since my parents became more observant we can't bring non-kosher beef into their house and my husband can't stand kosher ground beef.  He says it has some kind of weird taste to it.

And they live in an area with HUGE kosher supermarket and a butcher's shop so it's not like it's some dinky low-quality stuff. 

 

I can't agree or disagree bc I have no pallet, I can't tell the difference at all!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband will disagree with you. Ever since my parents became more observant we can't bring non-kosher beef into their house and my husband can't stand kosher ground beef. He says it has some kind of weird taste to it.

And they live in an area with HUGE kosher supermarket and a butcher's shop so it's not like it's some dinky low-quality stuff.

 

I can't agree or disagree bc I have no pallet, I can't tell the difference at all!!!

Kosher beef is only from the front half of the cow and most people prefer the cuts from the back half (sirloin burgers, anyone? Maybe a tenderloin or a new york strip?). You don't notice it when it's a brisket vs a round roast because a brisket should taste different, but you notice ground beef that is missing all the trim from the rear side.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kosher beef is only from the front half of the cow and most people prefer the cuts from the back half (sirloin burgers, anyone? Maybe a tenderloin or a new york strip?). You don't notice it when it's a brisket vs a round roast because a brisket should taste different, but you notice ground beef that is missing all the trim from the rear side.

 

 

Really? Then what do they do with the back half of the cow?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish that were true.  You can get all sorts of [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script> that is 1000% kosher, oftentimes even worse than mainstream stuff because smaller companies can't afford to make their food with the same quality as the regular stuff.  I'm looking at you cholov yisroel dairy products (some Jews insist that a Jew participate in the milking process in some way to ensure the milk is from a kosher animal and is of a higher level of kashrut (kosher in Hebrew)).  OU, OK, and other kosher dairy products that are not cholov yisroel are of much higher quality, with no yucky additives and gums/starches added.

 

Possibly the Jews in our city are all food snobs. And so they ought to be. :p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a previous engineering job, I visited a Hebrew National plant in Indianapolis.  I remember there being quite a few Rabbi-looking guys moving about in the plant.  I was also told that they make a ton of money for their role in the kosher process.

 

One of the plant engineers encouraged us to try the HN hot dogs.  I had my wife buy a pack and fully anticipated them being really good.  In reality, they didn't seem that good to me.  I think it was because they are really made from much better "meat" than an ordinary hot dog.  They were in fact probably "better" than most if not all normal hot dogs, but I was so conditioned to the taste of a regular hot dog that I didn't appreciate the better HN dog.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a previous engineering job, I visited a Hebrew National plant in Indianapolis. I remember there being quite a few Rabbi-looking guys moving about in the plant. I was also told that they make a ton of money for their role in the kosher process.

 

One of the plant engineers encouraged us to try the HN hot dogs. I had my wife buy a pack and fully anticipated them being really good. In reality, they didn't seem that good to me. I think it was because they are really made from much better "meat" than an ordinary hot dog. They were in fact probably "better" than most if not all normal hot dogs, but I was so conditioned to the taste of a regular hot dog that I didn't appreciate the better HN dog.

I have not purchased Hebrew National for a number of years now. Somewhere along the line they went from the greatest hot dog ever to eating a salt lick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really? Then what do they do with the back half of the cow?

I had the same question so I looked it up. Apparently, it is technically possible to make beef from the hindquarters of a steer kosher, but it involves removing tendons and nerves and is am expensive lengthy process. It also has to be supervised by someone with specific training and certification.

 

Apparently, in the U.S. it is not considered worth the cost so the back half of kosher steers are sold to gentiles. The major organizations that certify meat as kosher don't recognize anyone in the U.S. as having the credential to do the work.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i thought Kosher pickles had to do with using kosher salt.  Kosher salt is the big granulated salt that was traditionally used in koshering meat...removing the surface blood.

 

Muslims in the US often buy Kosher meat and products as they are deemed O.K. for us.  Actually any meat of "people of the book" is fine, but some argue that mass produced US meat is not humanely raised and killed, so does not count.   Trader Joe's actually has a wonderful section of kosher, non-frozen meat.  Also, Kosher marshmallows are not made with pork gelatin, so those are popular among Muslims. :)

 

(Halal/Zabiha includes how it was raised and killed.  For example, an animal should never see its "friends" being killed.  It must be killed quickly, with one cut to the throat.  All blood must be drained from the meat, so you'll never find a Muslim eating something like boudin/blood sausage, which I believe is made with pork anyway.  I just found out that frogs are not halal....so no frog legs.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kosher products don't have the icky additives mainstream products have.

Coke is kosher (but not kosher for Passover because of the corn syrup).

 

Oreos are kosher but can only be eaten with dairy.

 

I think both of those products contain a few icky additives.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coke is kosher (but not kosher for Passover because of the corn syrup).

 

Which is why, if you have no access to Mexican Coca-cola, you should stock up around Passover time. Kosher for Passover sodas are made with sugar sugar, not with corn syrup. They have different colored caps, don't they?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basically, a kosher food means a food that is approved to eat according to Jewish dietary laws. In practice, exactly what is kosher is pretty complicated, and there are a number of groups under the supervision of various rabbis who certify that foods are kosher. For example, some breakfast cereals with vitamin K are not kosher if the vitamin is derived from sharks, which are forbidden. So having a seal of approval makes shopping easier. Most of the supermarkets in my area devote an entire aisle to kosher foods and add more space around Passover.

 

Besides the obvious no mixing of meat and cheese, people have to make sure that cheese is made from milk from kosher dairies and that no animal products, such as rennet, are used in making the cheese. Animals are slaughtered by a ritual slaughterer who is trained to kill them with one sharp stab so that death is instantaneous, with the least possible pain. Meat is koshered or covered with salt to draw out the blood. Halal meat is also acceptable in many cases. Shellfish are forbidden.

 

If you are taking food to Jewish friends, you have to be careful with seemingly innocent things, like fruit. You would not want to cut it, because your knife might not be kosher. I didn't even wash some fruit I brought to friends recently, not that I think I previously washed meat in my colander, lol, but who knows. If you have friends who are mildly kosher, be aware that they may have friends who are stricter. It is not uncommon to see a guest scrutinize a jar of salsa or a bag of chips before eating.

 

I also have friends who eat 'kosher style.' No mixing milk and meat, but they are fine with food prepared in my kitchen.

 

In one local bagel store, the sign warns that only uncut bagels are kosher. In another store, cut bagels are kosher -- different levels of supervision.

 

Kosher for Passover is a whole different, stricter thing. No sprouted grain. Matzoh factories are supervised by someone with a stopwatch who makes sure the bread is in the oven in a matter of minutes after the dough is made. People line up to buy matzoh from favorite bakeries. And they have to clean every scrap of grain, every stray breadcrumb from cupboards, pockets, under car seat, etc.

 

Probably more than you want to know!

 

Btw, I am in an area that many different Jewish groups, from secular to Orthodox. But the Orthodox are the relatively liberal Lubavitch group. I have never done food shopping in a shop frequented by Satmar Jews. They would be much, much stricter than anyone I have ever known.

Edited by Alessandra
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, Kosher marshmallows are not made with pork gelatin, so those are popular among Muslims. :)

 

 

Are Kosher marshmallows made with other animal gelatin, or are they parve?

 

What I really want to know is whether you can make Kosher s'mores with milk chocolate?  Because, to me, that is the point of a marshmallow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i thought Kosher pickles had to do with using kosher salt. Kosher salt is the big granulated salt that was traditionally used in koshering meat...removing the surface blood.

 

Muslims in the US often buy Kosher meat and products as they are deemed O.K. for us. Actually any meat of "people of the book" is fine, but some argue that mass produced US meat is not humanely raised and killed, so does not count. Trader Joe's actually has a wonderful section of kosher, non-frozen meat. Also, Kosher marshmallows are not made with pork gelatin, so those are popular among Muslims. :)

 

(Halal/Zabiha includes how it was raised and killed. For example, an animal should never see its "friends" being killed. It must be killed quickly, with one cut to the throat. All blood must be drained from the meat, so you'll never find a Muslim eating something like boudin/blood sausage, which I believe is made with pork anyway. I just found out that frogs are not halal....so no frog legs.

I did not know about TJ. Thx. I often eat kosher chickens, but have not cooked with kosher or halal meat. One of the largest Muslim communities in the U.S. Is within driving distance of me. If I went to a halal butcher -- any on what to buy, or stupid remarks to avoid. Obviously, I wouldn't ask for pork chops, but are there more subtle things to avoid?

 

We ate in a humus restaurant yesterday. Ds had a hamburger with pastrami and a fried egg that he said was delicious.

Edited by Alessandra
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marshmallows are made from pork fat? Gee, thanks for that info. I don't think I'll pass it along to my marshmallow loving children, lol.

 

I recall Martha Stewart having a recipe for homemade marshmallows. I wonder what is in them.

 

Gelatin isn't fat, it's made from connective material found in skin and tendons and such.

 

Martha Stewart's marshmallows have gelatin in them, so they are not vegetarian, and couldn't be used for kosher s'mores.  Whether they would be kosher at all would depend on whether you used kosher (from cattle) gelatin or gelatin made from pigs.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gelatin isn't fat, it's made from connective material found in skin and tendons and such.

 

Martha Stewart's marshmallows have gelatin in them, so they are not vegetarian, and couldn't be used for kosher s'mores. Whether they would be kosher at all would depend on whether you used kosher (from cattle) gelatin or gelatin made from pigs.

Oh, yes, of course. I did actually know that at one time. But, not being either Jewish or vegan, gelatin to me is stuff in a cute little box. I *totally* forget where it comes from.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are Kosher marshmallows made with other animal gelatin, or are they parve?

 

What I really want to know is whether you can make Kosher s'mores with milk chocolate?  Because, to me, that is the point of a marshmallow.

Usually they are made with fish gelatin...at least the kind we buy which is Paskesz....which is actually made by the Campfire folks using their fish gelatin marshmallows.

 

Strangely I saw TJ marshmallows yesterday and I believe they were gelatin free.  Not sure how they would toast.  The good thing about the fish gelatin kind is that they toast like normal marshmallows.

 

Never thought of the milk chocolate thing! Interesting! :) 

 

I did not know about TJ. Thx. I often eat kosher chickens, but have not cooked with kosher or halal meat. One of the largest Muslim communities in the U.S. Is within driving distance of me. If I went to a halal butcher -- any on what to buy, or stupid remarks to avoid. Obviously, I wouldn't ask for pork chops, but are there more subtle things to avoid?

 

We ate in a humus restaurant yesterday. Ds had a hamburger with pastrami and a fried egg that he said was delicious.

 

The only thing I've noticed about halal butchers is that they'll sell the whole critter.  Offal/sweetbreads are very popular in some Muslim cultures, and it's generally not something I like to see.  One nice thing is you can often get kofta pre mixed with the parsley, onions, etc.  (Makes little kofta kebabs....which are like Middle Eastern hamburgers.)  SO if it was me, I'd pick up that and some fresh baked pita bread....and then go to town. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish that were true. You can get all sorts of cr@p that is 1000% kosher, oftentimes even worse than mainstream stuff because smaller companies can't afford to make their food with the same quality as the regular stuff. I'm looking at you cholov yisroel dairy products (some Jews insist that a Jew participate in the milking process in some way to ensure the milk is from a kosher animal and is of a higher level of kashrut (kosher in Hebrew)). OU, OK, and other kosher dairy products that are not cholov yisroel are of much higher quality, with no yucky additives and gums/starches added.

Really? That is interesting. I had always had the impression that kosher was better, purer. That said, I sometimes go to an Israeli shop in my area and buy all kinds of yoghurty type things from Israel. I have no idea what they are called as all the names are in Hebrew. But the ingredient list is in English, and I must admit I have been surprised -- unpleasantly -- at the list. And the cost is $$$. I guess they are flown in from Israel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Usually they are made with fish gelatin...at least the kind we buy which is Paskesz....which is actually made by the Campfire folks using their fish gelatin marshmallows.

 

Strangely I saw TJ marshmallows yesterday and I believe they were gelatin free. Not sure how they would toast. The good thing about the fish gelatin kind is that they toast like normal marshmallows.

 

Never thought of the milk chocolate thing! Interesting! :)

 

 

The only thing I've noticed about halal butchers is that they'll sell the whole critter. Offal/sweetbreads are very popular in some Muslim cultures, and it's generally not something I like to see. One nice thing is you can often get kofta pre mixed with the parsley, onions, etc. (Makes little kofta kebabs....which are like Middle Eastern hamburgers.) SO if it was me, I'd pick up that and some fresh baked pita bread....and then go to town. :)

I have started seeing kidney, tripe, etc at my local supermarket, perhaps for Muslims? And we have goat meat, for Caribbean, I presumed?

 

I LOVE kofta. It would be great to have them pre made. Would a halal shop have them made from lamb, or just sell ground lamb. The only place I find ground lamb is a very $$$$$ supermarket. Lamb is our favorite meat and I would love to be able to afford more.

 

I will leave the whole animal for others to buy, though.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many have it premade....meaning ground lamb, parsley, onions, spices.   You still need to cook it.   The mix is usually unique to that butcher.  Some will add more allspice or cumin or whatever.

 

I know goat is also popular among some Pakistanis.

 

You can definitely buy ground lamb there.  I've also seen it sometimes at Target on sale.... as well as one of the warehouse stores.

Edited by umsami
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marshmallows are made from pork fat? Gee, thanks for that info. I don't think I'll pass it along to my marshmallow loving children, lol.

 

I recall Martha Stewart having a recipe for homemade marshmallows. I wonder what is in them.

 

There are vegan marshmallows. As a vegan, it's been the one thing that has been hardest to find in local stores & I often have to mail order them. 

 

 

It's the gelatin that's the issue. Candy often contains gelatin & now many are indicating what animal the gelatin is derived (though I'm sitll waiting to see horse gelatin on a package. Somehow consumers will balk at that but not pork or beef in their candies). Many companies are now slowly switching to vegan gelatins because everyone can eat those so a bigger market.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There are vegan marshmallows. As a vegan, it's been the one thing that has been hardest to find in local stores & I often have to mail order them.

 

 

It's the gelatin that's the issue. Candy often contains gelatin & now many are indicating what animal the gelatin is derived (though I'm sitll waiting to see horse gelatin on a package. Somehow consumers will balk at that but not pork or beef in their candies). Many companies are now slowly switching to vegan gelatins because everyone can eat those so a bigger market.

Thank you! I used to (semi-) vegetarian, but vegan is a whole different ball park, isn't it? I have seen some documentaries about it, but would like to more. Not wanting to go there myself, but I find food/culture fascinating. And I'm sure there are some vegan recipes I could try. So I'll keep an eye out for your posts on any recipe threads that come up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had always had the impression that kosher was better, purer.

 

A lot of people have that impression, but it's really not based in fact. Kosher food is only better in the sense that observant Jews can eat it (so it's better for them), for every other purpose... well, it is what it is. Some is high quality, some not so much

 

Hah, this is actually an issue in US prisons, because many inmates who aren't Jewish feel the quality and safety of the kosher meals is better than the standard issue meals. And if you're not making everything vegetarian from scratch, kosher food does cost more, because it has to be certified. Of course, conditions in US prisons can be a little horrific (can you imagine needing a judge to rule that the prison has an obligation to provide safe drinking water without arsenic to prisoners?) so maybe they're right on that front!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I LOVE kofta. It would be great to have them pre made. Would a halal shop have them made from lamb, or just sell ground lamb. The only place I find ground lamb is a very $$$$$ supermarket. Lamb is our favorite meat and I would love to be able to afford more.

 

Doesn't your regular grocery store have a butcher window? I go up to the butcher and ask them to grind some lamb for me, easy-peasy. (I also get chicken skins off them for 10¢ a pound. I went on a "eat all the foods I've never tried before" kick a few years ago, and discovered that schmaltz really is yummy. Plus then we get fried chicken skin to munch on, so yay. The butcher thinks I'm crazy, though!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

snip

 

If you are taking food to Jewish friends, you have to be careful with seemingly innocent things, like fruit. You would not want to cut it, because your knife might not be kosher. I didn't even wash some fruit I brought to friends recently, not that I think I previously washed meat in my colander, lol, but who knows. If you have friends who are mildly kosher, be aware that they may have friends who are stricter. It is not uncommon to see a guest scrutinize a jar of salsa or a bag of chips before eating.

 

I also have friends who eat 'kosher style.' No mixing milk and meat, but they are fine with food prepared in my kitchen.

 

In one local bagel store, the sign warns that only uncut bagels are kosher. In another store, cut bagels are kosher -- different levels of supervision.

 

snip

 

 

Yes, and FYI to all: if the food is kosher in the bag, when you pour it out of the bag into your party platter/bowl it's no longer kosher.

 

Ha, there was a time in grad school we were having an interreligious event with a Jewish seminary and I thought to be nice and stop by the kitchens and tell the cook to make sure we had kosher snacks. Yeah, nice Italian-NYC chef nevertheless dumped all the otherwise-kosher cookies onto a serving platter. :svengo:  Fortunately, he also provided snack bags of Fritos and some bottled water, but it was still very embarrassing.

 

 

Not all observant Jews are so strict, no, but generally speaking that's how it works.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chiming in because of what happened on our farm today.  I hope I am not too graphic for people unaccustomed to farm life.

 

We were dressing chickens as we often do when a Muslim man came.  He wondered if he could buy some chicken, and if so could he have us do it the way that would make it "kosher" for him.  (Sorry, I don't know if Muslims use the word kosher.  Whatever their term is.)

 

He had to be the one with the knife.  I am guessing he said a prayer. (The ones that have been here during turkey time did.) He asked if the chickens had had their food and water that morning (important to him).

 

The 10 he did had to be separate from the others we were doing.  They were scalded and plucked separately.  He had us wash down the table and knives before doing his.  

 

He had me do the eviscerating.  Apparently it was ok if "anyone" did that part.  

 

My hired hand was asking him questions.  I guess they aren't supposed to get lamb from farms that raise pigs.  We weren't sure that was a land mass delineation or if they could be in separate pens on the same property owned by the same person or if it mattered if adjoining farms had lambs/pigs.  (Too little time to get the details.)

 

I did have a Jewish lady here once who was wondering if we would do chickens for her Jewish clientele.  She explained what she would need for us to accommodate that.  We kill in a mostly "kosher" approved sort of way.  She would've had to have a rabbi here while we were doing it.  She would've had to have us dry pluck the chickens because to scald them (which loosens the feathers and makes them much easier to pluck) would be considered "cooking the meat with the blood in it" according to her.  

 

She also said we would have to cool them in running water (I believe running....) before opening them to eviscerate.  

 

I think there were a few other things.  I had to decline because it was going to take more time than I was able to devote to it.

 

She did say she felt that a lot of modern kosher practices are almost more for commercial reasons vs law of God reasons.

 

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming....

 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...