The Best of Both Culinary World: Asian Kosher

Keeping kosher doesn’t mean giving up favorite dishes, but innovating and transforming international recipes into exotic kosher creations. Shifra Devorah Witt and Zipporah Malka Heller, a mother-daughter cooking and writing team, put this principle into practice when they wrote The Complete Asian Kosher Cookbook. This compact, elegant volume is a well-need improvement on the traditional bulky Asian cookbooks busy with detailed instructions and light on readily available ingredients or helpful photographs. The Kosher Asian Cookbook cuts through the verbiage and contains easy, clear instructions on how to prepare popular dishes from China, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Southeast Asia and India. … Continue reading

Keeping Kosher and Keeping Healthy

When I first became religious, I was very much into organic fruits and vegetables, as well as grains. While not strictly vegetarian, I did tend to eat according to the macrobiotic “greens, beans and grains” pattern. Not every meal (I was also a heavy coffee drinker- not so healthy) but often. When I became religious I sometimes noticed, to my chagrin, how often junk food carried the best kosher labels whereas I was often hard-pressed to find symbols I recognized in health food stores. Not to mention the problem of bugs, which is a significant concern for those who are … Continue reading

Kosher in China?

The days of the Olympics are drawing near and that means journalists, tourists and athletes will flock to Beijing to battle it out for the gold, or at least watch others compete. Of the attendees at the Olympic Village, 400 or more have requested kosher facilities, but is there anything kosher in China? For those who have toured Chinese marketplaces, this seems doubtful, but believe it or not, there is a kosher restaurant in the heart of Beijing, which is gearing up to provide all kinds of kosher food for the Summer Olympics, August 8-24. Dini’s is Beijing’s only kosher … Continue reading

Why is Kosher Food so Expensive?

With the price of food and gas continually rising, my husband and I had a discussion yesterday as to why kosher food particularly, kosher meat and chicken are so much more expensive than regular meat. My husband tried to convinced me of the expenses involved in the maintaining and regulating the diet of what the chickens and cattle eat.Well, that makes sense in light of the rising prices of feed. But I’m suspecting that it is also the halacha (law) of services that it takes for maintaining Kashrut. My husband also said that there is extensive monitoring and inspection involved … Continue reading

Jewish Vegetarianism

I run across this topic a lot, so I thought it was definitely blogworthy. I often meet Jewish vegetarians or am asked if we are encouraged not to eat meat. While I think there are many Jews, both religious and not religious, who are vegetarians, I don’t think the Jewish tradition either encourages or discourages vegetarianism. Meat-eating began with the time of Noah. After the Flood, G-d told Noah that he was permitted to eat animals as long as they were cruelly slaughtered. Before then, all people were vegetarians, and in appreciation for Noah’s saving the animals and righteous behavior, … Continue reading

The Search for Kosher Mexican Has Ended…At Home

I’ve been craving Mexican food for quite awhile, but have not found much available in South of the Border kosher cuisine, especially in Israel (my Israeli husband looked at tortilla and asked if that was used to wrap falafel in!). I was craving all of my favorite Mexican treats from long ago, like burritos, tacos and enchiladas. I found a Mexican cookbook which is not kosher, but that’s no problem, since I can change the recipe. One reason I think Mexican food is not so popular as a choice for kosher restaurants is that dishes often combine meat and dairy. … Continue reading

Kosher: Keeping Things Separate

Kosher: Keeping things Separate One of the most important aspects of keeping kosher is the separation of meat and milk. This does not only mean waiting a period of time between eating meat and dairy (the length of time varies according to one’s tradition), but keeping areas of the kitchen and utensils separate, and to make sure that a meat spoon, for instance, does not end up in a dairy mug. If you are starting to keep kosher, it is important to make meat and dairy utensils easily distinguishable. Everyone else using your kitchen must also understand where the dairy … Continue reading

Kosher: What is chalav Yisrael?

Chalav Yisroel, very loosely translated as “Jewish milk” is a stringency in the laws of kashrut (kosher) that stipulates that all milk and dairy products should be manufactured under Jewish supervision. This means that either the cows should be milked by Jews or the milking and the production of cheeses, ice creams and other dairy foods should be done with a Jew in attendance. A common misconception about chalav Yisroel is that any dairy food with a kosher label is automatically chalav Israel. Milk and cheese with the OU-D symbol, for instance, are kosher products (coming from kosher animals with … Continue reading


So after writing about bacon, I decided to teach my students about keeping Kosher. I teach third and fourth graders at Midrasha (Jewish Sunday school). I have eleven amazing students who are all growing up in a smaller city where there is not a lot of opportunity to keep kosher. There are a few families who keep kosher, but it’s not easy. The nearest Kosher butcher is 90 miles away and there are no kosher restaurants here. That means they are required to cook all of their meals. Even having the Rabbi over for dinner can be a challenge. Most … Continue reading

Why Do Jews Love Bacon?

I used to love spending the night at my friend’s homes. My favorite part was always breakfast. Every morning I would wake up to the sizzle of bacon. My friends’ moms soon caught on about my love for bacon and would always buy extra, just for me. I don’t like ham, and sausage is OK, but there is something about bacon that I have a hard time believing that it breaks all Kosherat laws. Keeping Kosher means observing the dietary commandments of God. One of them means you can not eat animals with split hooves. Back then, it had to … Continue reading