It is likely that you will have heard about kosher, even if you are not entirely sure what it entails. This piece will cover some of the basics of what kosher is, what you can eat if you are practicing kosher, and if there is anything else you should know. If you want to know more, read on!
What Is Kosher?
Kosher is a long-standing, extremely strict dietary lifestyle that is practiced by many of the Jewish community, based on traditional Jewish law. This is not just a practice that has been formed around the health and safety of food, but is based on religious traditions. The English word ‘kosher’ is derived from the Hebrew word ‘kasher’, which by definition means to be ‘pure’ or fit for consumption. These laws were found in the Jewish book of sacred texts, known as the Torah, and throughout the years, generations have passed down how those in the Jewish community can honor these traditions to one another.
What Makes Food Kosher?
This is where things are a little less straight forward when understanding what foods are or are not kosher. For example, there are certain meats that are not classed as not kosher, such as pork. The rule often follows that animals with split hooves who eat their partially digested food again are safe to eat under kosher law, such as cows, sheep, and goats. That being said, if an animal died naturally, it is no longer classed as kosher. All traces of blood must be completely removed as that is in no way kosher, along with other parts of the animal such as nerves or fat too. If you are new to eating kosher, or even if you are a seasoned practitioner, it can be easy to make mistakes, especially when eating out! Browse through kosher vacations instead, so you can take all the worry out of a holiday that honors and caters for your beliefs!
You Can Eat Dairy… But Not With Meat
Burger lovers may gasp at such a thought, but one of the most-respected rules of kosher is to eat dairy separately from any meat. The kosher lifestyle also entails taking great care in both the process and preparation of kosher food, too, which means you are not allowed to prepare meat and dairy with the same kitchen utensils, and you must wait a reasonable amount of time before consuming either dairy or meat after one or the other. It is also worth bearing in mind that cheese has to be kosher too!
Fish, but with Scales and Fins
Fish can absolutely be enjoyed in a kosher lifestyle, however, there are also certain rules around consuming creatures of the sea. For example, all fish must have scales and fins in order to be classed as kosher. This can get tricky if you are not able to see where your fish has come from, and sometimes fish can be incorrectly labelled.
Due to the extensive list of rules to practice kosher properly, it is worth doing your own research!
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