In the Jewish religion, Kosher refers to the selection of food that God, in the Torah, permitted his people from ingesting. The total separation of meat and dairy is the most notable aspect of this unique diet. When preparing proper meals the separation of all utensils, dishes, and kitchen equipment is a requirement when following a recipe requiring both products. When consuming food that is neither meat or dairy (‘pareve’), such strict attention to preparation isn’t necessary. In this week’s blog we’ll explore, in detail, the categories of Kosher dining, and the reasoning behind the exclusion of certain food groups.
Judaism considers animal by-products, specifically flesh and bones, ‘meat.’ In order to be labeled ‘Kosher’, meat must come from an animal that chews its cud and has split hooves. Certain species of domesticated fowl such as chickens, cornish hens, ducks, geese, and turkeys are approved for consumption. However, if the fowl is a scavenger bird such as a vulture or turkey buzzard, the Torah names them forbidden. Not only does the animal by which meat is obtained matter, but so does the way it is butchered. Animal and fowl must be slaughtered by a skilled shochet- a person extensively trained and certified to kill animals for sustenance by Jewish law. The shochet checks the meat for blemishes, then soaks and salts it to remove blood. All utensils used in this extensive meat preparation are Kosher as well. For Torah-observant believe that imposing strict dietary guidelines ingrains self-control from our most primal instincts. The extremely thorough cleaning, preparing, and restriction on certain animals is an example of this self-control.
To be considered Kosher, dairy products must come from Kosher animals. Approved dairy byproducts include milk, butter, yogurt, and cream cheese. The combining of dairy foods with meat is strictly forbidden. Additionally, all ingredients within dairy products must be considered Kosher as well with no meat derivatives. Like meat, all dairy byproducts must be made using Kosher equipment as well. On three separate occasions, the Torah tells us to never ‘boil a kid in its mother’s milk.’ Many practicing Jews interpret this as the prohibition of combined meat and dairy.
Fish and Seafood
Fish must have scales and fins to be considered for consumption. The scales cannot be difficult to remove, or cause damage to the fish itself when scaling. Most seafood, on the other hand, is not Kosher. Practicing Jewish people cannot consume shrimp, lobster, clams, and sharks. Most of these religious guidelines are from a world in which consuming these species was detrimental to overall health because the spread of disease was much more prevalent and incurable.
Kosher wine is only considered such if it was produced, specifically, by observant Jews. There is a vast array of Kosher wine selection available in this day and age along with mall other Kosher selections. Keeping it Kosher is difficult, requires a lot of self-discipline, and careful preparation.
Get In Touch With Catering by Alan Weiss Today
When you choose Catering by Alan Weiss, you are choosing the caterer with not only the most experience but also the caterer in the Rockville region with the most comprehensive menu of kosher cuisine outside of New York City. Let our team of party planners, chefs, and waiters help with party details while you take care of the intimate details. Our team strives to make your special day the best it can be.
Catering by Alan Weiss specializes in kosher wedding catering along with kosher catering for bat/bar mitzvahs and conferences in the Rockville area. Want to learn more about our wedding reception catering services for your upcoming special day? Call us today at 443-394-8338 or 800-459-0009. You can also call our Rockville number at 240-630-2555. You can also visit our contact page.