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Kosher Principles

Kosher Principles

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Kosher Principles


Ten Rules

  1. Meat: Kosher animals must have cloven hooves and chew the cud, they are slaughtered according to an especially humane method (Shechita), certain fats (tallow) and sinews are forbidden, and the meat is salted to remove all traces of blood. The Bible lists various birds of prey and other species of fowl that are forbidden. Only poultry with an ongoing tradition of kosher consumption such as duck, chicken, goose and turkey, may be eaten.
  2. Separation of Meat and Dairy: Separate pots, crockery, cutlery and washing up equipment are used for meat and dairy. Dairy food, even a cup of tea, may not be eaten until 3 hours after the consumption of meat or fowl.
  3. Only fish with fins and scales are kosher. Fish should be purchased with some skin (and scales) attached so that they are clearly recognisable as kosher fish.
  4. Milk must come from a Kosher animal. Chalav Yisrael -“Kosher” milk has been supervised from the point of milking to attest that it came from a kosher animal. All Cheese must have a Kosher seal as it is often manufactured with animal rennet.
  5. Fruit and vegetables: Consumption of flies and insects are strictly forbidden. Therefore all fruit and veg. must be thoroughly washed and items that are commonly found infested should be carefully checked before eating. Amongst these are: asparagus, mange tout, raspberries, blackberries, lettuce, cabbage, celery, leeks, spring onions, and herbs.
  6. Wine: Ordinary wine may use gelatine or isinglass from the non-kosher sturgeon as a fining agent, or even bulls blood to deepen the colour! Even were there to be no non-kosher ingredients, the Mishnaic Sages banned non-Jewish wine over two thousand years ago as a safeguard against inter-marriage believing that drinking-”out” may lead to marrying-out. Nowadays there are hundreds of fine and famous wines produced under rabbinical supervision including Piper Hiedsick and Lauren Perrier champagnes and Tio Pepe Sherry.
  7. Eggs are Kosher if they come from a kosher bird. However, when breaking an egg it should be inspected carefully and if any blood spot is found the egg should be discarded.
  8. General products: Many ingredients are derived from animal origin, e.g. emulsifiers E471, E472 etc, Carmine E120~frorn the cochineal beetle, Gelatine, Glycerine and other innocent looking “chemicals”. Thus all products must be carefully investigated regarding source~ of ingredients, processing aids, and shared use of equipment. Only pr~ducts bearing a kosher logo or listed in the Really Jewish Food Guide should be used.
  9. Utensils: Pots and pans, crockery and cutlery used by non-kosher food have absorbed some of the taste and are themselves considered non-kosher utensils. However, equipment that is unlikely to have been used for non-kosher, such as a coffee machine or kettle may be used.
  10. Bishul Akum — “Non-Jewish” Cooking:As a further protection against inter-marriage, the Sages banned consumption of food cooked totally by non-Jews. If there is some Jewish input however, even only switching on the gas, there is no problem. In kosher restaurants, for example, the stoves ovens and fryers are switched on by the Shomer  (Kosher Supervisor). The principle of Bishul Akum only applies to “meal  foods” and not snack foods e.g. crisps, or products which are sometimes  eaten raw.

Kosher Basics


MEAT AND DAIRY

Kosher foods are divided into three categories: meat, dairy and parve.

THE SEPARATION BETWEEN MEAT AND DAIRY

Meat and dairy foods may not be cooked together or eaten together. One may not even derive benefit from a combination of meat and dairy foods; for example, selling such a combined product or feeding it to a pet To ensure this total separation, the Kosher kitchen requires the use of separate utensils, accessories and appliances for meat and dairy.

FRIDGE/ FREEZER

The same fridge or freezer can be used for both meat and milk. However, care should be taken to ensure that the foods themselves should not come into contact with one another. It is useful to mark food put in the freezer to avoid mistakes when it is defrosted.

THE WAITING TIME BETWEEN EATING MILK AND MEAT

The laws of Kashrut require that we wait a period of time between eating meat and eating dairy. The Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish Law, actually records two traditions, one of waiting for one hour (which the Dutch still adhere to) and one for six hours. The prevailing Anglo-Jewish custom is to wait for three hours.

In the case of eating meat after milk, the same interval applies only after eating hard cheese. When eating meat after other dairy foods, it is not necessary to wait but one should clean out the mouth by rinsing or taking a drink and eating something Parve.

PARVE

Foods that are neither meat nor dairy are called parve. This means they contain no meat or dairy derivatives, and have not been cooked or mixed with any meat or dairy foods . Eggs, fish, fruit, vegetables, grains, and juices in their natural, unprocessed state are common parve foods. Other parve foods include pasta, soft drinks, coffee and tea, and many types of sweets and snacks. However, one point must be kept in mind: parve food can lose its parve status if it comes in contact with meat or dairy food.

COOKING AND SERVING PARVE FOODS

Parve food can generally be served with either meat or dairy meals. Some kitchens have serving and mixing bowls, pots, and knives used exclusively for parve food. These are always washed separately from meat and dairy dishes.

One should also have separate dish sponges, dish towels, and draining boards.

PARVE FOODS PROCESSED USING MEAT OR DAIRY UTENSILS

When a parve food has been cooked in a meat pot, one should serve that food only on meat dishes. Similarly, parve food cooked in a dairy pot should be served only on dairy dishes. However, a waiting time before eating foods of the opposite time is not required. Similarly sharp and spicy foods such as onions, garlic, lemons, and pickles which are cut with a meaty knife are considered as meaty and may not be used with dairy foods, and vice versa or if cooked in meat or dairy equipment.

COOKING AND SERVING PARVE FOODS

Parve food can generally be served with either meat or dairy meals. Some kitchens have serving and mixing bowls, pots, and knives used exclusively for parve food. These are always washed separately from meat and dairy dishes. One should also have separate dish sponges, dish towels, and draining boards.

PARVE FOODS PROCESSED USING MEAT OR DAIRY UTENSILS

When a parve food has been cooked in a meat pot, one should serve that food only on meat dishes. Similarly, parve food cooked in a dairy pot should be served only on dairy dishes. However, a waiting time before eating foods of the opposite time is not required. Similarly sharp and spicy foods such as onions, garlic, lemons, and pickles which are cut with a meaty knife are considered as meaty and may not be used with dairy foods, and vice versa.



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