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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Can Kosher Sausages Be Kosher If They Are ‘Pork-Flavored?

It looks like it’s kosher, and the certification says it’s kosher, but it smells and tastes “treif.” Kosher foods that taste like non-kosher food are widely accepted in the US, but not in Manchester, England.

Pork sauasges obviously are not kosher but Manchester rabbis disapprove of kosher sausages with kosher flavors of pork

Pork sauasges obviously are not kosher but Manchester rabbis disapprove of kosher sausages with kosher flavors of pork
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Jens Jäpel

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A vegetarian food company in Britain has raised the hackles of rabbis by selling its certified kosher sausages without approval for adding flavoring that gave them the taste of pork.

The same company also sold a kosher certified vegetarian product with the flavor of shrimp.

“It makes me sick when I think of people who drool for something that looks like and smells like the real thing, referring to non-kosher “treif” foods, said one rabbi quoted by the New York-based Kosher Today newsletter.

He declared, “My stomach turned when I saw a [kosher certification] ‘hechsher’ on kosher shrimp.”

Many American rabbis and even the venerable Orthodox Union (OU) have allowed many foods to retain a kosher certification even if the flavors give them the taste of non-kosher food.

However, the Manchester rabbinical council that certified the Redwood Whole Foods as kosher also had that the kosher symbol not be used on precuts that are flavored to taste like non-kosher foods, such as pork and shrimp.

In Israel, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger two years ago gave his blessing for a unique goose species that tastes exactly like pork. The species was introduced by Spanish farmers, and the Chief Rabbi ruled that the meat is totally kosher.

He cited a Talmudic source that God provided a kosher substitute with the same taste as its non-kosher counterpart.

Rabbi Metzger said at the time that observant Jews  may be “disgusted” when first tasting kosher meat with the taste of pork but that they “eventually get used to it.”

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About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

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30 Responses to “Can Kosher Sausages Be Kosher If They Are ‘Pork-Flavored?”

  1. These have been around for years with an OU hecksher. http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/bacos

  2. These have been around for years with an OU hecksher. http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/bacos

  3. Samuel Ramos says:

    I don’t think the smell matters….if it’s not “treif”. Then again…this becomes a paranoid thing now with the smell….who needs the complication…..

  4. Angee Sluder says:

    But why would anyone want pork flavored sausage? Unless it’s bacon, pork’s pretty gross. That’s why they throw a boatload of sage into pork sausage.

  5. Pork smell makes me gag. I am a convert, and I have watched people, as a child, shoot pigs, gut them, eat their brains, skin, and balls, etc., etc. But worst of all the smell. I find it vomit inducing and totally disagree with some of the ancient commentators that pork is denied because it is so great. I won’t eat pork or ****. One’s as good as the other. Taste without smell. I don’t think so.

  6. John Keytack says:

    I pay big bucks for beef bacon. There is a difference, and you get what you pay for.

  7. And there’s turkey bacon as well as beef bologna, turkey pepperoni, and the poor old turkey can be made into almost anything though its kosher status is questionable or non-existent.

  8. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Bring it to Israel!

  9. I think this is hilarious! …It reminds me of the "BaconFry" which was corned beef that was supposed to taste like bacon in the States…it was great! ;-)

  10. Lisa Liel says:

    This guy is an idiot.

  11. Lisa Liel says:

    This guy is an idiot.

  12. Lisa Liel says:

    This guy is an idiot.

  13. Lisa Liel says:

    Best fake kosher bacon I've ever had was slices of smoked goose breast, grilled up.

  14. Laurie Welch says:

    But this is not the 'real thing' and that is the point!

  15. Gil Gilman says:

    First and foremost, how would anyone know what pork tastes like if they don't eat it? or shrimp for that matter? Is there something about these flavors that would entice someone to eat them? I really can't join in the bandwagon views posted here that the author is an idiot. It is his concern and he is alerting others to that concern. What about his statement makes him an idiot? One wonders why they don't manufacture kosher certified vegetarian products flavored to taste like the hind end of a horse or donkey. The presumption is that there is something tantalizing and lip-smacking tasty about certain choices among the forbidden, and their goal is to appease those appetites. "If you can't eat treif, at least you can eat something modified to taste treif." What's the point?

  16. Phil Miller says:

    <Yawn!>. I asked this very shayla forty years ago and was told there is no problem whatsoever. Now there is. Nice religion you have here. what's it called?

  17. Grace Acosta says:

    "Fake" treif is a great thing for BTs and converts. Some may be nostalgic for the foods they grew up with, and having a kosher substitute can help prevent them from giving in to a craving. Personally, Beef Fry makes me very, very happy!

    I'd give anything for a kosher Italian salami or pepperoni. I hear there's a great place in Vancouver BC that makes sausages. Need to visit this summer. :-)

  18. Joy Haworth says:

    Well, you're not supposed to say "I don't eat pork because it's disgusting" rather "I don't eat pork because that's what G-d commanded". soooo not reallysure what the problem is. Noth that much different from drinking non-dairy almond/soy/coconut/rice milk while eating a burger.

  19. Joy Haworth says:


  20. Dan Silagi says:

    Is alligator meat kosher because it tastes like chicken?
    Just askin'.

  21. Gil Gilman says:

    I don't think I was making that particular case. I was merely asking about the motives of the manufacturers. The nut in the batch of vanilla pudding is this: the writer of the article is not an idiot for questioning the ethics involved, or intimating that this is a work around. Here, I thought that the words of the sixth chapter of Sefer ve'eleh hadevarim still hold, where any of the things with which we should love Hashem could include the word appetite either figuratively or literally.

  22. Just the thought of pork is discusting, but I suppose their are those who love the flavor of the "larvae" of the " pinworm" which lives in the swine animal! Do your research people…KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Power is wisdom to live a healthy and better life! Bless the Rabbis who CARE,…and..THANK YOU HEAVENLY FATHER FOR GIVING US A HEALTHY GUIDE TO LIVE BY…

  23. Forgive my poor spelling…but have handicap…just sharing with love…♥:)

  24. Sharon Deitch says:

    Totally. I so wish we could get kosher bacon bits here, our how about kosher turkey bacon?

  25. Brian Fink says:

    The Manchester rabbis have Halachah on their side because of the concept of מראת העין "the appearance to the eye". This principal states that one should not indulge in practices that seem to be forbidden even if in actuality they are not. This could cause others to be misled into believing that what they mistakenly see as transgressing is acceptable.

  26. Brian Fink says:

    The Manchester rabbis have Halachah on their side because of the concept of מראת העין "the appearance to the eye". This principal states that one should not indulge in practices that seem to be forbidden even if in actuality they are not. This could cause others to be misled into believing that what they mistakenly see as transgressing is acceptable.

  27. David Olensky says:

    For those of you who don’t remember: About 20-25 years ago, there was a product called Moshe’s Kosher Shrimp; “made from fish,” “flavored like shrimp,” with a Kosher certification. People that ate it, praised it for tasting “just like the real thing.” It was on the market for about a year or so. Suddenly, after further investigation, it was discovered that it actually contained real shrimp!

  28. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Sure wish they'd bring it here.

  29. Stewart Winter-Jaffey says:

    Baco's are totally Kosher with the OU certification…and delicious!

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