Kosher Recipes

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About Kosher Recipes

Kosher food is very easy to define. It’s food that is permitted tothe Jewish people by Biblical law. Here is what causes theconfusion: First, the Jewish Bible is more extensive than most people realize. Second, food is usually considered in terms of its taste, quality or nutrition, factors not central to kosher status.

Therefore to fully understand what is and is not kosher you’ll need a list of the factors that make food kosher. Here is that list:

1) In their original living state, what kinds of animals are kosher?
(All vegetation and minerals are permitted).
2) How are kosher animals slaughtered so as to remain kosher?
3) What are the forbidden parts? How are they removed?
4): Which mixtures of food are permitted? Which are forbidden?
5) How do you maintain kosher status of all of your food?
What happens if kosher and non-kosher become mingled?

This article will answer the first two questions. Two companion articles address the others.

1) Wildlife that may be permitted falls into one of four categories.
a) Insects. Easy – nobody eats them! The Biblically permitted varieties of grasshoppers cannot be identified accurately today.
b)Fish. The Bible allows us fish which have both fins and scales. There are many and identifying them is usually the province of a rabbi or a kosher fish store.
c)Birds. Chicken, duck, turkey, goose. That’s the whole list. In the Bible there is a larger list but again, the translation is difficult. Jews use tradition when eating fowl.
d)Animals. The animal must be a ruminant (chews its cud) and have split hooves. Cows, sheep, goats and oxen are the permitted domesticated animals. The wild animals allowedare addax, antelope, buffalo, deer, gazelle, giraffe and ibex.That is according to the O-U, Orthodox Union.

2) Permitted fish may be slaughtered in any way. Animals and birds must be slaughtered by a process called shechita.Shechita, about which much is written, but very little seems to beknown is a mandatory method of slaughter. No flesh of an animal or bird is permitted a Jewish person unless this process is used. An animal is forbidden if it dies of disease or violence. Shechita can be performed only on a healthy animal,not one fatally ill or wounded.

During shechita a trained man uses a perfectly sharp, smooth knife. He makes a swift, continuous incision in the neck. The cut severs the esophagus and trachea, and the major blood vessels leading to the animals brain. The animal loses consciousness immediately and dies. The shechita is disqualified if there is any interference. If the man hesitates, the knife is wavy or nicked,or if death is not instantaneous, Jewish law forbids consumption of the animals flesh. Animal experts agree that when shechita isperformed as it should be, it is the most humane and immediate method of slaughter which exists.

To state a caveat, this article summarizes the first two aspects of what is kosher. To be sure of eating or providing others with kosher food, you need more information and a knowledgeable mentor.

About the Author: Leslie Rosenberg has a long-standing professional involvement in the kosher food industry. He has extensive knowledge of the Jewish dietary laws and of kosher certification practices.

Visit for expanded information and all the necessary resources to know that you are keeping kosher according to the original Biblical law.


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