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Archive for August, 2009

Kosher bread

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

 

 Almost every culture and religion has different types of breads as an integral part of its dietary ritual and so does the Jewish culture. The Jewish people have had a long tradition of suffering and uprooting and some of its traditions may seem extreme, especially when it comes to preparing and consuming food, these were the essential guidelines to make sure people remained healthy under hostile conditions. Although many modern-day Jews don’t strictly follow the old laws when it comes to eating, during various religious ceremonies and occasions most Jews try their best to serve only kosher foods and desserts.

According to laws of Kashrus the breads consumed by the Jews must be kosher in order to make them fit for consumption. Kosher breads must be prepared under strict guidelines and only allowed ingredients must be used. For instance, breads must not contain dairy products. There is a reason for that.

According to Kashrus dairy products and extracts should not be consumed with meat. Breads and meats are the most common ingredients of any meal and people might inadvertently consume milk or butter with meat while having bread and meat. This is the reason dairy products should strictly be kept away while preparing kosher breads. It also goes without saying that meat products should also not be used while baking breads. The utensils in which the breads are baked must be kosher too.

The kosher dough can be prepared using any one of wheat, oats, rye, spelt, and barley and their mixtures. After the batter is prepared, or even after the bread has been baked, you can set aside a small portion as “challah”, ideally, the size of an olive, and then burn it afterwards. Challah has a religious and spiritual significance, symbolically, as it basically means keeping aside a small portion of your food for poor.

Kosher breads must also be baked using conditioners and oils that are kosher themselves. This is often not possible as most breads these days come prepackaged but there are many bakery vendors that adhere to strict kosher laws while baking their breads. You may also find signs on packages declaring the products as kosher.

Kosher steak

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Want to make sure the mouthwatering steak you’re gobbling down is kosher, that is, it’s been prepared according to the laws of kashrut? For your steak to be kosher the animal it comes from must be killed as painlessly as possible. Of course this requires that only a kosher expert must butcher the animal.

Although a typical steak comes from beef, especially in America, the one you are eating can come from any edible animal that can be sliced the way steaks are sliced. So you can get your steak from fish (it helps if it’s large fish), from sheep and goats and for that matter even from camels if you’re ready to savor them.

So what makes your steak kosher? There are certain animals that are considered kosher if the Jewish law halacha deems them fit. According to the Torah, cloven hoofed, cud-chewing mammals are kosher. This means cows, sheep and goats are kosher whereas pigs and rabbits are not. There are certain birds that are kosher, for instance, duck, goose, chicken and the all-American favorite, turkey.

For your steak to be kosher there should be no blood in it and the blood must be drained out within 72 hours of slaughtering the animal. Any meat that has blood or its trace is not kosher. But why so much importance to draining all the blood out? According to Torah the blood is the soul of the animal being consumed. Blood is life and it carries the spiritual qualities of the animal. If you consume blood, you also consume the spiritual traits of the animal. Therefore, to make your steak kosher, “proper”, you must make sure it has no blood.

The ritualistic slaughtering of an animal among Jews is called shechitah and most of the blood is drained out during shechitah. To make sure no blood is left soak the steak in cold water for about 30 minutes, take it out, and rub coarse salt over it. Keep it that way for an hour and again soak it in clean water. This drains the blood out completely and you’ve got yourself kosher steak.

Kosher Food Online

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Even if an animal is slaughtered in the right manner and all blood is drained out there are certain animal parts that are not kosher food. The fat that surrounds the vital organs and liver should not be consumed. The sciatic nerve and its adjoining blood vessels are discarded too.

Keshrut also says that dairy products and meat products should not be eaten together. This means for your food to be kosher it should not have a mixing of dairy products and meat products. That is why kosher breads are never prepared with dairy and meat products.

Even utensils have to be kosher in order to make your food good enough to eat. You should never prepare dairy products in utensils that were used to prepare meat food.

Looking for some reliable online kosher food source where you can find tons of information and make sure the food you consume adheres to the guidelines mentioned in Torah as much as possible? We not only sell kosher food online we also incessantly strive to educate our visitors and customers so that they can enjoy their food without qualms. Although there are numerous online sources where you can get exceptionally well-prepared and researched information on kosher food on our website we are trying our best to compile all the useful information at one single spot.

What exactly is kosher food?

Kosher in layman’s language means “proper”; in fact the expression has so deeply penetrated the English language that these days people use it to even describe other things like “kosher attire”. It comes from keshrut that comes from the Hebrew root Kaf-Shin-Reish, meaning fit, proper or correct.

Kosher food is obtained and prepared according to dietary laws specified in keshrut. These laws were mostly written by Moses but many were later defined and refined through various rabbinic interpretations. Most of the laws ensure that the food is healthy and clean but in the modern world some of the kosher foods are kosher simply for religious purposes.

You can consume various meats, breads, fruits and vegetables as long as they are kosher. Herbivorous animals that have cloven hoofs and chew cud are considered kosher and they may include deer, cows, goats and sheep. Birds of prey and scavenger birds are not kosher.

Even when kosher animals are slaughtered the pain should be minimal or absent. Animals that die of natural causes or have been killed by other animals are not to be eaten. All the blood from the slaughtered animal or bird must be drained out within the 72 hours of their slaughter. Blood is considered to carry the spirit of the slain animal and if you consume blood you also consume some of the traits of that animal.