Any traditional Jew will tell you that the most pivotal time of the kosher year is the Festival of Passover. But it is also the most intense period of the year for the many food companies who try to offer their products to the kosher market. This is because kosher keeping Jews are spending a lot of time and money buying food for Passover. In fact, according to one estimate, forty percent of all kosher products are purchased during the six weeks prior to Passover.
The next time you’re savoring your side of basmati rice, mushrooms in your salad, and vegetables in your instant soup – you just might catch a scent of sandalwood incense and sweet flowers. After all, you’re enjoying a taste of India.
Kosher foods, although based on one of the world’s oldest dietary laws, are among the fastest growing current trends in food processing. Here in the United States, home to 40 percent of the world’s Jewish population or about 6.15 million consumers, kosher food has always occupied an important marketing sector, but it is not Jews fueling this explosive growth in kosher foods.
Ah, Chile! This incredible country has been in the spotlight recently. Last year’s terrible 8.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the southern and central parts of the country, and the spectacular miraculous rescue of the Chilean miners and then their emotion-filled visit to Israel have placed Chile firmly in the world’s spotlight. The truth is that Chile has been the model country economically and politically for the entire South American continent for the last two decades.
According to most ornithologists the chicken is the domesticated form of the jungle fowl. There is some disagreement in the scientific community as to which species of jungle fowl were used to develop the domestic chicken. The dominant view is that the red jungle fowl (Gallus Gallus) was the primary genetic donor; however, some have argued that the green jungle fowl (Gallus Varius), the grey jungle fowl (Gallus Sonneratii) and perhaps some now extinct species, also contributed to the development of the domestic chicken. All of the known species of jungle fowl are native to the Far East, and the domestic chicken is thought to have first been raised on the Indian subcontinent.
By Rabbi Chaim Goldberg
OU Fish Expert
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The Pesach holiday is a time where we have an opportunity to reflect on our rich heritage and affirm our commitment to the continuity of our many traditions. The geulah from Mitzrayim was the point in our great history when we were freed from bondage to man, and culminated with our becoming a nation with the subsequent acceptance of the Torah at Har Sinai. What has sustained us and preserved us throughout the millennia? Observance of Torah and mitzvos is replete with many intricate details that require us to be highly meticulous in our performance, in order to properly fulfill what is required by religious law. During Pesach, this notion expresses itself through required measurements of the special foods we eat during the holiday. These basic measurements and their careful observance are very much a part of our heritage. Indeed, the Talmud states that halachic measurements are a part of the unique laws that were given to Moshe Rabeinu at Sinai.
One very practical application of ta’am lifgam is found in the middle of hilchos basar b’chalav. The Mechaber (Y.D. 95:4) says that if one places ash into a pot of hot water before dirty dishes are placed in it, then even if some dishes are milchig and some are fleishig, the pot and the dishes will remain kosher. This is because the ta’am of the ash combines with the ta’am of the fat and gives off a ta’am that is lifgam. This is the basis for the leniency to kasher kailim that are ben yomo, by using a davar hapogem (e.g. caustic).
The mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is one of the most colorful and common ducks in the United States, being found in wetlands as well as city ponds. Many of the ducks migrate across the United States, while others are supported year round by duck enthusiasts.
The restaurant was bustling. Joyous noise and laughter filled the room as waiters and waitresses bustled to and fro, bringing trays of food or removing the empty plates of sated diners. The tables were filled with people enjoying their meals – extended families celebrating a birthday or graduation or promotion at some of the tables, small families sharing the evening together, friends crowding into a booth in the corner, laughing about something one of them had just said. There are couples, some older, some just married, sharing a quiet, intimate meal together at candle lit tables.