By Pesach of 2012, Jack’s Gourmet expanded its repertoire to include both kielbasa and spicy southwest sausage, which according to Silberstein was the first time that kosher for Passover sausages were ever available to the kosher consumer. According to reports in the Daily News, over 60,000 units of the specially prepared meats were sold.
Now that kosher consumers were free to experiment with sausages to their hearts content, Silberstein turned his attention to another previously taboo product: bacon. Jack’s Gourmet Facon, which was also available for Pesach last year, has become the company’s best selling product.
“The interesting thing is that people who have had real bacon tell us it tastes exactly like the real thing,” said Silberstein. “It is dry cured beef, prepared using the same process that is used when making bacon, just without the pig.”
Facon was a huge hit at Kosherfest 2012 and took home the award for Best New Meat, Seafood or Poultry Product, with another new Jack’s product, spicy Italian style salami, scoring the top prize in the Best New Deli Meat Category.
“Jack’s Gourmet has introduced new flavor and ingredients that expanded the palate and types of dishes that kosher cooks prepare,” said Shifra Klein, editor in chief at Joy of Kosher magazine. “Italian sausage isn’t a flavor profile most kosher cooks are familiar with and now we are. Facon is another outstanding product that has allowed the kosher cook to experiment with flavors and textures that were previously unavailable.”
Silberstein’s creations, produced under the rabbinical supervision of the Orthodox Union, the Chicago Rabbinical Council and the Vaad Hakashrus of Flatbush, have been eagerly embraced by the kosher cooking world, according to Mrs. Klein.
“I have definitely seen an increase in recipes being developed, especially with Facon,” said Mrs. Klein, who added that the upcoming edition of Joy of Kosher will include recipes using Jack’s chorizo sausage.
New this year from Jack’s Gourmet are three new frozen products: Facon burgers, sweet Italian beef sausage patties and spicy Mexican style beef sausage patties. All three products are nitrate free. While most of us associate burgers with grilling, Silberstein encourages consumers to let their imagination run wild and Mrs. Klein was equally enthusiastic.
“The new prepared burgers are also a game changer because they can be used as the base for dishes like lasagna, bourekas and even cholent,” said Mrs. Klein.
For Silberstein, it is the quest for quality gourmet products for the kosher consumer that keeps sending him back to his kitchens to develop new items.
“If your grandmother baked knishes, you know what a knish is supposed to taste like and if you taste a rubbery knish somewhere, you will know right away that that isn’t a real knish. But for someone who has never had a knish before, to them, that rubbery thing really is a knish. When you have had the real thing, you know when what you are tasting is just a pale imitation and our goal is to develop products that taste like what they are supposed to be.”