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.”