Amazing Article About What is Kosher?
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What is Kosher? Kosher comes from the Hebrew word that literally means fit. With that said, to be kosher means to be fit for consumption. Kosher laws are biblical dietary requirements that religious, and often times non-religious, Jews follow. Contrary to popular belief, the laws of kashrut have no meaning. According to Orthodox Jewish Rabbis, they are simply understood as rules that must be followed, which were given from God.
The most basic understanding of kosher is to not mix meat and dairy, and to not eat pork. However, kosher goes far beyond this. It is a very intricate and often daunting set of rules. Kosher involves not only what you can and cannot eat but also how humane animals are slaughtered to how are you wash your produce and how you maintain your kitchen.
One of the most commonly understood laws of kashrut is that you cannot eat split-hooved animals. The most common of these animals is pork, which means that those that keep kosher do not eat bacon or pork chops. Another commonly understood law in regards to meat and what is kosher is that meat and dairy cannot be mixed. That means no cheese burgers for those that keep kosher. The origin of this law comes from a biblical reference which says it is forbidden to boil a kid goat in its mother’s milk. During Talmudic times the rabbis expanded on the law to separate meat from milk. What that means is that the restriction of mixing meat and milk was expanded upon to also include poultry. That means that you can’t mix dairy products with chicken or turkey or any other kind of poultry. This is quite an expansion upon the original biblical law, because birds do not nurse their young. This was done in order to ensure that there was no confusion. However, eating fish with the dairy is allowed.
The separation of meat and milk goes far beyond the food itself. It extends into food preparation and serving food. What that means is that all kosher kitchens must separate between dairy and meat. They must have separate plates, utensils, and often appliances for serving and preparing dairy dishes. And they must have separate plates, utensils, and often appliances for serving and cooking meat dishes. Often times the kitchen will just be dairy or meat they won’t prepare and serve both. However, food from a non-kosher restaurant, such as leftovers, cannot be brought into a kosher home.
Have you ever wondered where “kosher salt” originated from? Ironically, the origin of kosher salt is probably aligned with one of the more spiritual kosher laws. More specifically, according to kashrut, the blood from meat must be extracted from any meat before it can be consumed. In ancient times, and even today, the most logical way to remove blood from meat is through salting. The salt will absorb the moisture in the meat if you put enough salt on a piece of meat. In the case of salting meat to extract the blood the salt will absorb the blood. This is why kosher salt is a bit more rigid and the grains are larger, it’s to ensure that the salt has maximum absorption capacity for salting meat. To this day the meat in Israel, which is pretty much all kosher, is considered some of the saltiest meat in the world. And the reason for this is because of the salting done to keep it kosher. The reason why this is probably one of the more spiritual of the kosher laws is because the reason the blood is extracted is because blood is considered one of the bearers of the soul. Therefore, it would not be a good idea to consume it through eating.
Lastly, in addition mandatory kosher laws, there is a kosher law that demonstrates different levels of quality amongst kosher food items. This concept is called Glatt. Glatt is a term that applies to meat. Yet, the term has been expanded to describe anything that is kosher, not just meat. Let’s elaborate. Glatt is a technical definition used to describe kosher meat that has gone through an extra level of inspection to determine if the meat of the lungs is smooth and defect free. However, today the term is often used to informally imply that a product was processed under a stricter standard of kashrut. Therefore, if you want the highest quality of any kosher food, look for Glatt.
For catering kosher Jewish events it is important to decide in advance if your event is going to be dairy or meat. Kosher caterers and restaurants typically offer either dairy or meat options. It is uncommon to find a kosher business that offers both. Further, there are many Jewish organizations that oversee and certify businesses for maintaining themselves as kosher. Therefore, if the event calls for a very strong adherence to kosher laws this would be something to look into.
Muscat Catering was established in 2006. It is known as one of the most kosher dairy restaurants in the metropolitan area. Our catered food is certified kosher. Most importantly, your guests will love it.