What is Kosher Food? – Overview
Kosher Foods: A Detailed Guide – The word “Kosher ” is getting quite popular these days. Most foods we consume have a “Kosher label” on the back. But the strange fact is that the kosher diet is mostly famous among Jewish people, and the rest of the world is less aware of it.
What is Kosher Food?
The term “kosher” originates from a Hebrew meaning “fit and proper.” It’s used to describe foods prepared following specific biblical Jewish laws.
Contrary to the myth, food does not have to be blessed by a rabbi to be considered kosher.
People who follow a kosher diet do not eat pig meat or bacon. Also, there are certain laws on how animals should be slaughtered respectfully. Also, there are certain instructions on how the specific meat should be eaten.
The production process must be overseen to ensure that non-kosher products are not used. That said, unless a person visits every manufacturing plant, it can be difficult to find exactly what products are used.
History of Kosher Food
This dietary law originated in the holy book of ‘The Bible,’ and for 3000 years, the Jewish people have been following it religiously. It makes them the oldest ones to follow the dietary tradition, and they deserve respect.
In 1739, the trend was also followed in America, and kosher meat was prepared to serve the entire Jewish community.
In the next 150 years, as the Jewish community grew in America, many manufacturers offered kosher food products like jams, gefilte fish, borscht, and Matzo.
Types of Kosher Foods
Kosher food falls into three categories, namely meat, dairy and pareve.
Kosher meat is considered just for those animals that have split hooves and chew their cud. Chewing the cud is throwing up the food that has already been eaten and then eating it again.
The cows, goats, and sheep are known to chew their cud. Thus, they are eligible as kosher meat.
However, there is more to it. The animals must be slaughtered in a specific way. If the animal dies of natural causes, it should not be eaten, be it kosher or not.
The requirements are a bit simple when it comes to dairy products. The dairy products like butter, milk, yogurt, and cheese should come from Kosher animals mentioned above; they will be considered Kosher dairy products. So, cow and goat milk or other dairy products are kosher.
This category consists of all the other things apart from dairy and meat like pasta, vegetables, fruits, bread, fish, egg, and coffee. These are the things to keep in mind if you want to follow a kosher diet:
- You can consume milk and meat at the same time. For example, if you are craving ice cream after having a delicious steak, you cannot do that; you will have to wait for a certain time.
- Fish is considered kosher only if they have fins and scales. So, you can eat salmon and trout but not lobster and crabs.
- Bread will be considered kosher only if they are officially certified by a reliable agency.
- Mostly Nuts and oils are Kosher; check the label to be sure.
- Wines must be produced under strict rules and certified by the Orthodox Rabbi to be Kosher.
- Fruits and vegetables are also mostly Kosher but wash them thoroughly to ensure that there are no insects as they are not kosher.
How to Identify Kosher Food?
The kosher symbol ‘K,’ which can be found at the back of the product description, is helpful. This system is created to help consumers find the real ‘Kosher Products,’ which a kosher certification agency inspects.
Nearly 41% of all pre-packaged foods in the USA carry kosher certification. The kosher law requires complete division between meat and milk products.
According to the ‘Kosher dietary rules, the product containing a dairy ingredient must bear a kosher symbol consisting of the letter “D.” The lack of the letter “D” or the use of the “Pareve” confirms the fact that the product is free of dairy.
In recent years the kosher symbol and diet have become internationally recognized by people of many races and religions to guarantee that their dietary concerns are met successfully.
People suffering from health problems, such as lactose intolerance, rely on kosher products to avoid dangerous allergic reactions. In addition, many health-conscious people see the benefits of quality control and the absence of additives in kosher foods.
Surely, you must be confused. In the beginning, the kosher laws were a bit difficult to understand.
Still, after going through this post, you will better understand the kosher items and can also check kosher certification. So, you must try out the kosher diet once. It is highly addictive!