We have all heard of the term “Kosher”, but what is Kosher? What makes a food Kosher and what makes another food, not Kosher. We all know where to find Kosher foods in the local grocery store and a Kosher market, but what makes those foods Kosher? Eden Catering makes sure that all the foods that they prepare for their clients follow the “Kashrut” rules stated in this article and are 100% Kosher.
A popular misconception regarding kosher food is that for the foods to be considered Kosher, they must be “blessed” by a rabbi. These blessings are recited by observant Jews before they decide to eat foods that are already Kosher; these blessings do not make non-kosher foods Kosher. Food can be considered Kosher without a rabbi or priest blessing it or ever becoming involved with the food for that matter. All natural vegetables are already Kosher and do not require anything to make them “more” Kosher.
General Kosher Rules
- Certain animals may not be eaten whatsoever. The restrictions include the organs, flesh, milk, and eggs of the forbidden animal.
- Of the birds and mammals that may be eaten, they must be killed following the Jewish law.
- No blood can remain in the poultry or meat before it is eaten.
- Not all parts of a Kosher animal may be eaten.
- All fruits and vegetables are Kosher but have to be inspected for bugs which may not be Kosher.
- Meat, or the flesh of birds and mammals, may not be eaten with dairy. Eggs, Fruits, fish, grains, and vegetables may be eaten with either dairy or meat. (Some views do not allow for fish to be eaten with meat)
- Any sort of kitchen utensils including cooking surfaces, pots, and pans that have come in contact with dairy may not be used to cook meat, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher foods may not be used for Kosher foods.
- Any grape products that were made by non-Jews are forbidden.
- Some other rules may apply but are not universal.
The rules for what makes an animal kosher are simple. When talking specifically about land mammals, for them to be Kosher they must have cloven hooves, and they must chew their cud. Non-Kosher animals that do not meet these requirements include the camel, the pig, and the hare. Deer, bison, goats, sheep, and cattle are all Kosher.
Animals in the water must have fins and scales for them to be considered Kosher. All shellfish including shrimp, lobsters, and crabs are all forbidden. You may eat fish like carp, tuna, and salmon.
The Torah has a particular list of birds that are forbidden. The birds that we are permitted to eat are geese, chicken, turkeys, and ducks.
All amphibians, reptiles, and rodents are forbidden. There are certain insects that you may consume.
Kosher mammals and birds must be slaughtered in the way of Jewish law. Animals that have died of natural causes or were killed by other animals are forbidden. The animals cannot have any disease or flaws in the organs when they are slaughtered. Fish do not apply to these restrictions.
The method that the animal is slaughtered should be quick and painless. A perfectly sharp blade devoid of nicks or unevenness should be used. The method of slaughter is a deep and quick stroke across the throat.