From genetically engineered microbial rennet to ‘Rocky Road’ ice cream, the dairy industry presents new challenges to the kosher kitchen. As with many other food products, modern food technology has created new concerns for the kosher consumer. All dairy products, by definition, begin with milk, and milk from a kosher species of animal is inherently kosher….
General guidelines for waiting between the consumption of milchig and fleishig foods
“Rabbi, why doesn’t most hard cheese have a hechsher? After all, the ingredients all seem kosher?”
The above question is often posed to me and my colleagues in the kashrus industry. While the question is simple, the answer is a bit more complex.
Before we know it, the heat of summer will be upon us, and many of us will be consuming ice cream and other frozen sweets in an effort to keep cool. So long as our summertime frozen treats are reliably-certified, we do not think too much about how they are made or about the kashrus…
This column has previously addressed the concern of purchasing fish without its skin intact. We discussed that once the skin is removed, one has no way of knowing what a particular fish is, unless it was skinned in the presence of a mashgiach. As such, a skinless fish is considered “kirvei dagim” (unidentifiable fish), and…
Consumers are becoming more health conscious. Fish is often considered a healthier option compared to meat. We are all familiar with certain fish like salmon and tuna. Yet, some may want to broaden their culinary experiences and try some more exotic varieties of fish. The question then becomes, what fish are kosher? This article will illustrate that it may not always be so simple to answer this question.
We are often confronted with a myriad of ingredients and products grouped loosely under the “Dairy” category. The purpose of this discussion is to clarify what those products are and their Halachic status.
“You mean that I have to wait SIX HOURS after I eat cheese before I can eat meat??” Well, often yes. The Remo (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 89:2) states that the minhag is to wait after eating hard cheese before partaking of meat, just as one waits after meat before dairy; this minhag has become accepted practice for Ashkenazim. (See Chochmas Adam 40:13.)
As long as humanity has sought sustenance, there has been fish to provide it. Whether for an informal lunch or an elaborate dinner, it is inconceivable that a menu would not include fish. However, not all types of fish may be enjoyed by the kosher consumer. Many varieties of fish are prohibited medoraisa. Moreover, there are numerous issues regarding the processing of fish that could impact the kosher consumer.
There is a German expression Alles iz in butter” (Literally: Everything is in butter.) This phrase means that everything is fine and in order. Historically, butter was a product that was viewed as being kosher without any serious issues. Generally, all aspects concerning the ingredients and manufacturing process were considered to be acceptable. Butter was generally produced by churning cream so that the butterfat flocculated (clumped together) to form butter; the byproduct from this process being buttermilk. No other additives were used. In fact, in halacha, there are many shitos that do not consider butter to be subject to the restrictions of chalav akum as long as there is no residual milk fluid in the butter (see Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 115:7 and Shach ad loc.). Even today, based on these shitos, many people who are careful to use cholov Yisroel products exclusively are lenient with butter. Some kosher consumers purchase higher grades of butter even without any kosher certification. Are these practices advisable in light of the many changes, both in terms of ingredients and manufacturing techniques, that have occurred in standard butter production? How do these changes affect the kosher of butter? Do the traditionally lenient approaches to the kashrus of butter still apply? From the standpoint of kosher, can we still say about butter, “Alles iz in butter”?