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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Can Kosher Sausages Be Kosher If They Are ‘Pork-Flavored?

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

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.”

French School to Muslims and Jews: Let Them Eat Pork!

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

A French public school has stopped offering alternatives to pork in its cafeteria for its Jewish and Muslim pupils, and official said their solution is to be vegetarians.

The alternative meats were removed last week to lower the overhead of running the cafeteria of the elementary school of Arveyres, a small town near Bordeaux in southern France, according to the local radio station France Bleu Gironde.

Like many other French municipalities, Arveyres public schools began offering alternative meats to Jewish and Muslim pupils in the 1990s.

The school’s management said that out of a total of 180 pupils, 28 do not eat pork. The school said the students who don’t eat pork may switch to a vegetarian menu. “They have enough things to eat at the cafeteria, including proteins,” the school management is quoted as telling the radio station.

Southern France is home to France’s second largest Jewish community, as well as hundreds of thousands of French Muslims.

Laëtitia Rekaïka, the mother of one of the 28 children who do not eat pork, told Radio Monte-Carlo: “I don’t understand the decision: We’re not asking for halal or kosher meat; we only want a protein-based substitute.”

Could You Repeat The Question?

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

You know what I noticed since I started writing this column? That people don’t write in to ask questions so much as they write in to complain.

I’m not complaining. I don’t mean to knock these other question-and-answer columns, but I’ve never once heard anyone say, “My life was going down the tubes, but then I wrote in to the newspaper, and now everything’s better!”

Why is that?

Probably because people like to complain. They never tell you when things are better. You have to ask.

“How about that thing that you spent hours talking my ear off about last time? Is that still a problem?”

“What? Oh. No. But listen to what the problem is this time.”

But I don’t care. Complaints are great for business, so long as you put them in the form of a question.

Our first one today comes from someone in Brookline, MA, who is surprised to find that she’s having a hand in planning her friend’s wedding:

Dear Mordechai,

I just got an invitation to a wedding, and they want to know if I want, quote, “chicken or vegetarian.” What on earth is “vegetarian”? As far as I know, that’s not a food. That’s a lifestyle choice. What is the food?

Undecided, Brookline, MA

Dear Undecided,

Nobody knows. Grammatically, the choice doesn’t make sense. Is it asking if you want to eat chicken or vegetarian? I’m not going to eat a vegetarian. They’re too gamey. Is it asking if I AM a vegetarian? Or what? A chicken? Yes, I’m a chicken. I have nothing against vegetables, but I always pick chicken, because I’m afraid of what they’re going to try to pass as vegetables.

No, “vegetarian” is not a food. But nor are the baalei simcha descriptive about what they’re actually putting into the chicken. So they’re not really giving you a menu choice here. If you’re a chicken person, you don’t care what they’re putting on the chicken. It’s got to be better than whatever “vegetarian” is. And if you’re a vegetarian, you don’t care what the vegetarian option is, as long as it’s not chicken. The card isn’t asking what you want, it’s asking what you don’t want.

I got an invitation like that for a wedding I recently went to: “Chicken or vegetarian?” And I was wondering about it. “Vegetarian” means “vegetables,” right? But aren’t there going to be vegetables on the chicken plate as well? So what’s “vegetarian”?

So my guess was that the choices were: A. a plate that, in addition to vegetables, has chicken, or B. a plate that has a big gaping hole where the chicken would otherwise be. Like it fell off the plate on the way to your table, and the hosts want to know if they can just give the rest of the plate to you. Or do they have to scrape the chicken off the floor and put it back on the plate?

But it turned out that the vegetarian option was some kind of tofu dish. Which I’m not sure is a vegetable either. I don’t know why we keep punishing vegetarians by giving them tofu. Haven’t they suffered enough?

But apparently, they eat it. Basically, vegetarians got together at some point and decided that they’re going to eat something that is as unappealing to us as our food is to them. They serve tofu to weed out the real vegetarians from the people who just want to eat more salad, or the chickens like me who are curious as to what the reply card means by “vegetarian.”

I do eat soy. I put soy sauce on my sushi, and it’s delicious. Soy is supposed to be a bean, like cholent beans. I don’t know what they do to the soy that makes it look and feel like a magic eraser sponge, and I don’t want to know.

Dear Mordechai,

How come I have to ask my kids again and again to do something, and they don’t listen? It’s like talking to the walls. In fact, I feel like if I say it one more time, the walls will just get up and do it themselves, just to get me to stop.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/could-you-repeat-the-question/2013/01/17/

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