Q: What does Kosher mean?
A: The term “kosher” does not refer exclusively to ritually edible foods. Kosher refers to anything that meets Jewish legal requirements. But kosher is most commonly encountered in regard to food. There are many reasons why food can be considered non-kosher. If milk and meat are mixed at the same meal, this is non-kosher. If an animal is not properly slaughtered, this is non-kosher. Food cooked on the Sabbath is non-kosher. Leavened product not disposed of before Passover is non-kosher. The most commonly known non-kosher product is pork.
Q: Why don’t Jewish people eat pork?
A: To be considered kosher, land mammals must have split hooves and chew the cud. Pigs don’t have split hooves, nor do they chew the cud and so are considered non-kosher.
Q: Does this just apply to pork?
A: Not at all. For example, rabbit is considered non-kosher because it does not fall under the stipulations for land mammals.
Q: What about seafoods is that kosher?
A: Yes and no. Any creature that swims must have scales and fins to be considered kosher. Therefore shellfish, such as lobster, oysters, clams or shrimp and crab are non-kosher.
Q: Is a special kitchen required to prepare kosher food?
A: In fact, two special kitchens are required to prepare kosher food. One kitchen is for the preparation of meat dishes. A second kitchen is required for the preparation of dairy based dishes. Kosher cooking utensils that come into contact with non-kosher ingredients and are then used to prepare a kosher dish, render the finished dish non-kosher. Implements from one kitchen must never be used in the other and cutlery and crockery used for meat dishes must never, ever be used for dairy dishes, and visa versa.
Q: Does this mean that milk can never be consumed with a meat dish? All vegetables and fruit are edible with any meal.
A: Dairy and meat should never be combined in the same meal. For example, side salad can be served with a meat or fish meal. Cheese boards must not be served at the same meal as a meat dish. Dairy based desserts such as custard or crème brulee (unless parve) cannot be served. Even tea and coffee at the end of a meal must be served without milk. But there are alternatives.
Q: What are the alternatives?
A: Some food items are considered neutral or “pareve”. Fish, grains, eggs, fruit and vegetables are pareve and can be served with milk or meat dishes. Non-dairy milk or cream can be used in desserts and also in tea or coffee.
Q: Are Jewish people the only people that eat kosher food?
A: Not at all. Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists also eat kosher food for religious reasons. Increasingly, non-Jewish people are eating kosher food purely because it’s considered to be the healthy option.
Q: And is it the healthy option?
A: Yes, it is. For religious reasons, the standards set for processing kosher meat and poultry are far more stringent than those set by the Dept. of Agriculture.
Q: As an Hotelier, what can Kosher Ireland do for me?
A: As we have outlined above, the preparation of kosher food must follow very specific and very strict guidelines. At Kosher Ireland we use our knowledge and expertise to prepare kosher cuisine to the highest standards and deliver directly to your door. Thus ensuring that you, the Hotelier, can provide a comprehensive service to your guests, in particular, the thousands of Jewish tourists that visit Ireland every year.
Q: Where can I find more information about kosher food?
A: By clicking on any of the links on our Great Links page or if you are a Hotelier or Restauranteur who wishes to provide a more comprehensive service to your patrons, then drop us a line by clicking here.
We'll be more than happy to answer any of your queries.
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