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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Kosher Food’

Airline Glatt Kosher Demand Doubles

Monday, April 8th, 2013

The number of travelers requesting kosher meals continues to rise, and requests for glatt kosher meals has more than doubled in the past five years, according to one source.

Several travel agents reached by KosherToday concur that the number of travelers requesting kosher food has risen throughout the world and the airlines and the airline catering industry are apparently responding.

In Canada, Gate Gourmet, a Swiss-headquartered company that serves 14 major airlines at Trudeau, including Air Canada, recently opened a kosher kitchen supervised by MK of Montreal. Gate Gourmet operates a similar kosher kitchen at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport serving more 15 airlines, including El Al Israel Airlines.

In Montreal, Gate Gourmet is already considering extending its kosher services beyond the airline industry, to perhaps retailers, institutions or even large private events, as it has been doing in Toronto.

In Britain, Hermolis caterers, the exclusive kosher airline service of British Air as well as many other airline carriers from China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, is said to have significantly expanded its operations in the past five years.

Court Upholds Citi Field’s Ban on Sale of Kosher Food on Shabbat

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

A federal appeals court told a kosher hot dog vendor in New York that its agreement with Citi Field precludes it from selling kosher products at the stadium on Shabbat.

Kosher Sports Inc. had a 10-year contract with Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, to sell hot dogs, sausages and other kosher products in the stadium through October 2018. In 2010, the kosher food distributor sued Citi Field operators for preventing its workers from selling their products on Friday nights and Saturdays, and for attempting to stop the company from obtaining a fourth food cart.

In its ruling Tuesday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York found that the agreement “did not cover when or where KSI could sell its kosher food products,” and therefore Citi Field was within its rights to restrict sales on the Sabbath. The court also awarded Citi Field $55,000 and rejected Kosher Sports Inc.’s request to reverse a court decision from February 2012 that found the vendor failed to make payments on time.

“KSI had no right under the unambiguous terms of the agreement to sell its products at Citi Field on Fridays and Saturdays,” the court wrote.

The vendor launched its $1 million lawsuit three years ago, claiming that it had lost $500,000 in profits because its stands were not allowed to open during Sabbath games or events. Kosher Sports said it had received permission from kosher-certifying authorities to open the stands to sell food items on the Sabbath, but the rabbi who certifies the stands denied that claim.

Obama Must Keep Kosher for Passover at King David Hotel

Monday, March 11th, 2013

President Barack Obama will have to eat kosher for Passover meals, without bread, during his stay the King David Hotel next week, Haaretz reported.

“We’re used to hosting heads of state and also American presidents, but this situation is very special for us because it’s so close to Pesach [Passover]. For us it will be double the preparations,” the hotel’s manager, Dror Danino, told the newspaper.

That means lots of vegetables and no bread and no noodles or any other foods containing leavened bread.

Kosher Barbeque a Smoking Hot Fad in New York

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

A portable kosher barbeque rig is giving New York and the East Coast a taste of the backyard BBQ of yesteryear.

“There’s no one else doing this,” Got Cholent? president Ari White told Kosher Today. “I’m making it my mission to liberate New York’s kosher community from the exile of the great barbeque.” Gemstone catering, a division of Got Cholent? and under Star-K kosher supervision, is providing “pop-up” barbeque catering for events.

“Most Orthodox New Yorkers tend to marinate their steak in some store bought sauce and call it ‘barbeque’,” said the Texas-born White. “But for something to really be barbequed, it needs to be wood-smoked, and there’s no way to fake that genuine, barbequed taste.”

He calls himself the “pit boss” over the “Texas Roadside Smokehouse BBQ.”

White remembers his father and their rabbi smoking 40 turkeys for 5 days straight to prepare for the holidays. “My grandfather was an avid ‘smoker,’ and he passed this on to me and my father. When I moved from El Paso to New York, I knew the tri-state area would appreciate what real barbeque means — I just had to get them to taste it,” he stated.

His 2-ton wood-burning “HaKodesh Barbeque” provides “pop-up” barbeques, complete with a dining tent, bales of hay and country music.

“At our first pop-up in Riverdale, we served more than 3,000 people in four afternoons, and we had to turn away hundreds more,” according to White. “We had a similar smashing success in Westchester’s Lincoln Park.”

HaKodesh Barbeque will be making appearances in New York’s street fairs a week after Pesach and will be the first kosher “smoker” to compete in the Food Network’s Brisket King NYC competition.

New Yorkers will have a chance to feast on mid-city barbeques at upcoming street fairs, starting with an April 7 event at Union Square.

On Yom HaAtzmaut, when hundreds of thousands of Israelis can’t get through the Independence Day holiday without a cookout on the coals, White will serve’em up at a location to be announced later.

A large barbeque event also is scheduled for Philadelphia in early June.

US Orthodox Jews Find Bugs in Nutrition Agenda

Monday, February 25th, 2013

The federal government says spinach is so healthy that schools will lose their eligibility for funding if the Popeye favorite is not served, but some orthodox schools say the rule is full of bugs – literally.

Several orthodox Jewish groups have asked the US Dept. of Agriculture to choose substitutes for leafy green vegetables that are difficult if not impossible to be cleaned of tiny insects that are forbidden under Jewish dietary laws, the Forward reported.

“The problem of insect infestation has been confirmed by numerous rabbinical authorities and kosher certification agencies, and many schools have raised this problem,” Rabbi Abba Cohen, Agudath Israel’s Washington director, said in a statement.

Another complaint about the federal program is that it wants t limit the amount of grain-based foods, a diet that would not allow for any other grainy foods except for the one slice of bread that is required in order to recite the Grace after Meals.

Appeals Court: Murderer Sincere Enough to Merit Kosher Food

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Max Moussazadeh, a convicted murderer, has won the right to have kosher food provided to him.  The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s ruling which found that Moussazadeh’s request for kosher food was “insincere,” and instead ruled that to deny him kosher food would constitute an infringement on his religious beliefs.

Moussazadeh was convicted and sentenced to 75 years in prison for his part in the fatal shooting of a Texas man in 1993.  The victim was shot to death by three of Moussazadeh’s accomplices, while he served as the lookout during a robbery in Houston.

Although Moussazadeh was incarcerated at a prison in Rosharon, Texas, which had a “kosher kitchen,” he was later transferred to another facility where kosher products were available for purchase, but which did not provide free kosher meals for its inmates.

In his original legal filing on July 15, 2005, Moussazadeh complained that he was “forced to eat non kosher foods” and asked that he be “allowed to receive kosher meals because it is part of [his] religious duty.” He claimed that he was born and raised Jewish, and that his family kept a kosher household.  He also claimed that his faith required him to “eat kosher foods,” and not being able to do so forced him to violate his religious beliefs, for which he believed “God would punish” him.

The lower court had rejected Moussazadeh’s request at least in part because it found that his religious beliefs were not sincere, but the Court of Appeals found that,

In addressing whether Moussazadeh’s religious beliefs were sincere, the district court looked to his words and actions but incorrectly concluded that those factors established insincerity ‘as a matter of law.  ‘ The court decided that Moussezadeh was insincere based on a combination of three findings.  First it found that he purchased “nonkosher” food items including cookies, soft drinks, coffee, tuna, and candy.

The Court rebuked the lower court for failing to understand that there is a difference between food certified as kosher and food that is not certified as such.  In its opinion, the Court of Appeals found that the lower court incorrectly “concluded that items that were not certified as kosher were per se not kosher, but, as Moussazadeh and amicus curaie relate, a certificate does not render food kosher or nonkosher.”  As a matter of American law, “Individuals may practice their religion in any way they see fit, and ‘it is not for the Court to say it is an unreasonable one.’”

Most state prisons and the federal government provide a kosher diet to all observant inmates, while Texas remains one of only 15 states that do not.  According to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which was co-counsel for this case with Latham & Watkins, “the cost of feeding all observant Jewish inmates in its prison system would be less than 0.02% of its annual food budget.”

“If thirty-five states and the federal government can provide kosher diets to all of their observant Jewish inmates, there is no reason Texas cannot do the same,” said Luke Goodrich,  Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund.

The case was sent back to the lower court to determine whether there was an alternative way of providing Moussazadeh with kosher food which was less expensive and addressed any security issues.

The Valero Tradition

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Most couples establish their own routines. They have their own rhythms that may include where they eat, when they vacation, and what they read. My husband Lou and I are no different. We like to eat Israeli food on Tuesday nights and we usually order the same—shwarma for him, grilled chicken for me. Our regular waitress knows us so well that she brings us hummus and babaganoush as soon as we sit down. We love to see romantic comedies—but only at the discount theatre on Cedar Lane in Teaneck. In the winter, we vacation someplace warm—typically in the Caribbean. For every seven days we’re away, Lou plays golf three times. And, each Monday, in the summer, on our way home from the Catskills, we like to stop at the Velaro gas station in Monroe to eat eggs and drink coffee.

The Velaro tradition began in an unexpected way. My husband and I bought a new Volvo SUV that contains every safety feature known to mankind. As we were driving from Loch Sheldrake to Teaneck, the car apparently did not like the way Lou was driving. I was in heaven. I was thrilled that I had the good sense to buy a car that has a built-in high tech “wife” to nag him—taking the pressure off of me. In any case, the car suggested that he stop for a coffee break.

We pulled over at exit 130 on Rt. 17 and headed to Monroe for caffeine. I waited in the car for Lou to return with our drinks. But, about two minutes later Lou came out to the parking lot to get me. “You have to see this,” he said, and thus our Valero relationship was born. Inside, Lou directed me to the back right corner where there was a counter and we could purchase all manner of freshly made kosher food. The front of the building housed a convenient store with various packaged and frozen foods all sporting an OU. Gathered around were a handful of Satmar Chassidim eating soup and hot cereal. Not one to ever imagine myself actually eating in gas station, I decided that it looked clean and fresh and that I would give it a try. The other patrons were happy to recommend their Valero favorites to us.

The author’s husband, Lou

Now every week I make the same joke about Lou only “taking me to the finest places.” But, when he suggests we go straight home or that we go out to eat when we return to Teaneck, I always tell him that I prefer eating at the gas station. I spoke to the owner of Valero, who while preferring that I not use his name, did say “we have had kosher food at Valero for about six years. People come from far away for our vegetable soup with knaidlach.” When I asked him for the recipe, he coyly answered, “I can’t tell everyone everything…otherwise, why would they come? I can tell you this,” he confides, “we sell more sandwiches than we do beer.” And they are open six days a week – closed on Shabbosim and Yomim Tovim.

Ari, the counterman

Why has this ritual become so important to Lou and me? Well, the food is fantastic and Ari, the guy behind the counter, is the consummate Jewish mother type. He greets us with a smile, asks us about our week and then usually offers us a taste of something new he has concocted. This week, he wanted us to taste his Farina—too sweet for me. But, then he suggested preparing an omelet containing his freshly made potatoes and sautéed onions. I was in “eggcstasy.” They were hot, tasty and fresh. The potatoes were cooked perfectly and the onions were sweet and delicious. Sometimes we opt for an egg sandwich on a challah roll and other times we break into the lunch mode. We have tried salmon teriyaki, fresh tuna cakes, mashed potatoes, and veggie chulent (available beginning Wednesday afternoons) all with great success.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/the-valero-tradition/2012/07/23/

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