“Kosher” is a Hebrew term that means “fit,” or “fit to eat.” While this may sound simple, you might be surprised about the rules when it comes to kosher cooking.
The rules governing kosher eating and cooking are detailed. In order to really keep kosher, rigorous adherence is necessary, and when it comes to commercial kitchens and restaurants, the cautious watch of a religious supervisor ensures that all spiritual laws and rules are strictly followed.
As far as keeping kosher is concerned, there are lots of surprises for the unexperienced, and some of these are the following:
What are Kosher Foods?
Do you know what is considered off-limits if you want to eat kosher? There are several foods that you can and cannot eat if you plan to keep kosher. Just remember that kosher rules can be relatively strict according to different branches of Judaism and Jewish ethnic cultures.
Some of the most popular kosher foods you can enjoy include the following:
- Beef: Be sure to look for cuts such as chuck, brisket, plate, and rib. Other cuts may not or maybe kosher depending on the preparation.
- Fish with scales and fins
The non-kosher foods you should avoid include:
- Birds of prey
- Fish without scales and fins, including shellfish such as lobster and crab
- Foods derived from the animals that aren’t regarded as Kosher such as gelatin
- Dairy and meat served together
Symbols for Kosher Food
If you are in doubt, search for a label on the packaging that is marked “OU” or “K” for kosher. These markings on their own may be an indication that the food is pareve or doesn’t contain dairy or meat. Here are some other additional symbols you should watch out for:
- “DE” or “D” – The product contains dairy or was prepared in an area handling dairy.
- “F” – There is fish content in the product.
- “Glatt” or “M” – The product has meat content.
- “P” – The food can be consumed during Passover.
Rules for Kosher Kitchens
When it comes to kosher, it is not just about what foods are considered kosher but more importantly, how these foods are prepared. Starting from the slaughterhouse up to the kitchen, stringent rules of preparation should be followed to guarantee that the food stays kosher.
Dairy and meat products, for instance, should never be mixed together or even grazed using the same utensil, even when the utensil is already washed. Similar to kosher foods, these tips for kosher kitchens are somewhat used depending on branches of Judaism and personal Jewish ethnic cultures.
How to Maintain a Kosher Kitchen
- Never use the microwave and oven for dairy and meat dishes simultaneously.
- Consult your Rabbi for other kitchen tips as well as some guidelines for keeping your kitchen kosher.
- Avoid washing dairy and meat dishes simultaneously and always use separate utensils for cleaning.
- When using a dishwasher, don’t forget to clean the dishwasher between dairy and meat dish washes.
Always remember these tips when shopping for ingredients and foods at a Kosher market San Francisco.