Category Archives: Food

Dairy Kosher Restaurants Face Many Difficulties

If given the choice between a meat meal or a dairy one, I’d pick meat 99% of the time. Based on this article, I’m definitely not alone. Titled “The Curse of Dairy Kosher Restaurants in Manhattan,” it details the steep odds such an establishment faces, with most closing down quickly. 

What’s causing the distinct difference? Mainly the fact that dairy foods are subject to less strict requirements. There is no kosher slaughter needed, after all, and if you couple that with the huge surge in vegetarian and vegan alternatives popping up in recent years, it makes sense.

Personally, I know many people who will eat parve or dairy food at a non-kosher place, but will not touch the meat. (I’m not saying whether that’s right or wrong, just sharing my experience.)

The NYC food scene is notoriously competitive, for sure, but I think kosher dairy is less popular around the country. Look at California, Florida, Chicago or any other metro area and the scale is severely tipped towards meat. The only exceptions, of course, are bakeries and ice cream shops. 

As more people start to explore different cuisines, a strictly kosher eatery isn’t going to have the need it once did. In my local area, there are all kinds of trendy and healthy options available—juice bars, raw food, a food truck that serves only salad and on it goes. Any of those could work for someone who keeps kosher, even though they’re not certified as such. 

Even so, I’m sad to see any kosher spot fail. Kashrut is a universal link to our heritage and it deserves to be honored. 

 

Do you prefer meat or dairy?

Taste Testing Manischewitz Boxed Desserts

Kosher for Passover desserts tend to be bland, heavy, and rather unappetizing, yet every year, we all keep making them. Is it the convenience, habit, a mix of both? I’m not sure why, but it really doesn’t seem like Passover without a variety of Manischewitz products. 

If you’ve ever wondered which of their Passover desserts is the best—and worst—this taste test comparison is interesting to read. The sample included brownies, carrot cake, and macaroons, which are widely available. Coffee cake and crumb cake mixes were no where to be found. (Personally, I have only seen brownies and macaroons in my area.)

I love the concept of mixes, but they always seem to disappoint. I’d rather eat fresh fruit desserts that conform to Passover rather than a baked substitute. Regardless, this list will come in handy for next year. 

Bento Bagels: Jewish Food Comes to Japan

Tokyo, Japan has its first Jewish deli, courtesy of California-based brothers Evan and Ari Bloom

Blending flavors, they have created a fusion cuisine that takes popular Jewish foods and gives them a Japanese spin—the most interesting being the Bagel Bento Box. Pick from six flavors of dough (pumpernickel, sesame, poppy, plain, everything, and salt) and add local toppings like yuzu cream cheese and salmon roe.

The brothers are also curing their own pastrami made from Australian beef since the meat is not available locally, and will also be offering perennial favorite matzo ball soup. 

I’m curious to see if the Japanese palette will enjoy this type of food. Hopefully they do, so the market can expand and more delis can open. Very neat idea that can help break down barriers between the two cultures.

“Kosher” Pork: A Frightening (and Fake) Trend

Can pork be made kosher? According to some sources, the answer may be yes, provided that pig is created in a lab. Those of us who believe in the legitimacy of the dietary laws—whether we follow them or not—know that pork will never, under any circumstances, be considered Kosher and I personally believe that any lab created meat should never be eaten.

This Frankenstein mindset is exceptionally dangerous, just as cloning has proven to be. I believe in science and I have no problem with research and experimenting to advance humanity, particularly in the medical field. However, that doesn’t mean we should have a free-for-all without any ethics or boundaries.

God has given us a blueprint for healthy eating. If we choose to eat foods that are forbidden, the likelihood of food poisoning is much greater. Even foods that are permitted, when improperly prepared or stored can be bad (such as consuming raw milk).

GMO food, lab food, and other scary edibles do not have to replace good, old fashioned fruits, veggies, milk, and meat. We must use our common sense and not let dollars and cents dictate every decision. Of course, dietary preferences will vary for families, but the information needs to get out there about what is safe and what is not.

 

Would you eat meat made in a lab?