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9 Foods You Must Eat in Israel

9 Foods You Must Eat in Israel


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Eat (and Instagram) your way through this food-rich country

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The foods of Israel come in so many colors, flavors, and spice levels. Meat lovers and vegans alike feel like they have plenty of options. Here are the 10 foods you must eat when you are there.

9 Foods You Must Eat in Israel

istockphoto.com

The foods of Israel come in so many colors, flavors, and spice levels. Here are the 10 foods you must eat when you are there.

Dried Fruit

Don’t just stop by a shuk (market) and look at the amazing displays of dried fruit; try a few. We recommend dried pineapple and strawberries. Though preserved lemon is not necessarily a dried fruit, it is something you simply cannot miss — and you’ll probably find it hard to miss, as Israelis add it to everything from salads to rice. Don’t leave Shuk Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem, one of Eden Grinshpan’s top 10 places to eat around the world, without taking some dried fruit with you.

Falafel

You’re probably not surprised to see falafel on this list. In Israel, falafels often include amba, a tangy, pickled mango chutney. If you are craving an authentic Israeli falafel, head to Falafel Adir in Jerusalem’s German colony.

Fresh Seafood

You’re probably thinking… is that kosher? While bottom-dwellers and shellfish are not, we’re still in the Mediterranean, so expect plenty of delicious fish. Don’t miss the jackfish with lemon, capers and onions, or the baby St. Peter’s Fish grilled and served with caramelized beets, the Uri Buri Fish Restaurant, who is also known for making creative sorbet flavors like wasabi or anise, or the huge portions and mezze platters at the Old Man and the Sea in Jaffa.

Jachnun

Jachnun is a long, only slightly sweet puff pastry that’s been baked in a slow oven overnight. It’s usually served with a tomato dip, hard-boiled eggs, andskhug hot sauce. Commonly eaten on Shabbat morning, these delicious snacks can be found at the Shuk HaCarmel market in Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem Bagels

Jerusalem bagels are oblong, not round; baked without boiling; and almost always topped with sesame seeds. Forget cream cheese; you want to dip these in olive oil and za’atar, a blend of herbs, sesame and salt. While they are a common street food in Jerusalem, they’re nearly impossible to find in the United States. New Yorkers need not worry: Bar Bolonat in the West Village serves them.

Knafeh

This dessert does come with a little controversy, at it is technically a Palestinian dish, but it could very well be a food that could bridge the divide. This sweet cheese pastry is soaked in sugar syrup, flavored with rose or orange water, and, if you’re lucky, laden with chopped pistachios. Try it at Knafeh Noga in Jaffa, rightly recommended by Tablet Magazine for its unique flavors.

Kofta B'siniyah

Sabich

You’ve probably heard of shawarma and falafel, but do you know about sabich? This specialty of the Iraqi Jewish community combines fried eggplant with hard-boiled eggs, hummus, a fresh salad, and hot sauce. It’s a vegetarian’s dream that even non-vegetarians would love. Spotted By Localscalls the sabich at Sabich Tchernikhovski in Tel Aviv “the absolute king of Sabich.”

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a hot dish of eggs poached in a spicy, cumin-spiced tomato sauce. While Tunisian in origin, it took off in Israel in the 1950s, when hundreds of North African Jews immigrated there. For some of the best, go to Benedict in Tel Aviv, or Dr. Shakshuka in Jaffa.


The basic Passover food prohibition is anything "leavened," which Jews call chametz. What this means, according to the rabbis and tradition, is anything made with wheat, barley, spelt, rye, or oats that are mixed with water and left to rise for more than 18 minutes.

Throughout the year, Jews eat challah during their weekly Shabbat meals, and the challah must be made out of one of these five grains, which allow for the HaMotzi blessing over a meal. But Jews are forbidden to eat or own chametz during Passover. Instead, Jews consume matzah. Yeast and other leavening "agents," however, are not forbidden on Passover and are frequently used in Passover cooking.

Jews stop eating chametz late in the morning the day that Passover begins (in the evening, on the 14th of Nisan). Jews spend days, and sometimes weeks, cleaning their homes and cars in preparation for Passover. Some will go to the lengths of emptying out every book on the shelf, too.

Also, because Jews cannot own chametz, they must go through the process of selling any chametz they might own. However, many Jews will simply use up all of their leavened foods before Passover or donate them to a food pantry.


9 Foods You Must Eat in Israel - Recipes

New International Version
Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water.

New Living Translation
So now, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Look! I will feed them with bitterness and give them poison to drink.

English Standard Version
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed this people with bitter food, and give them poisonous water to drink.

Berean Study Bible
Therefore this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I will feed this people wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink.

King James Bible
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

New King James Version
therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

New American Standard Bible
therefore this is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I will feed this people wormwood and I will give them poisoned water to drink.

NASB 1995
therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink.

NASB 1977
therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink.

Amplified Bible
therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them bitter and poisonous water to drink.

Christian Standard Bible
Therefore, this is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to feed this people wormwood and give them poisonous water to drink.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore, this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "I am about to feed this people wormwood and give them poisonous water to drink.

American Standard Version
therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because of this, thus says LORD JEHOVAH of Hosts, God of Israel: “Behold, I feed this people bitter herbs and give them bitter waters to drink

Brenton Septuagint Translation
therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them with trouble and will cause them to drink water of gall:

Contemporary English Version
So I, the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, promise them poison to eat and drink.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Behold I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

English Revised Version
therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

Good News Translation
So then, listen to what I, the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, will do: I will give my people bitter plants to eat and poison to drink.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am going to feed these people bitterness and give them poison to drink.

International Standard Version
Therefore, this is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, the God of Israel, says: "Look, I'll make these people eat wormwood and drink poisoned water.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, And give them water of gall to drink.

Literal Standard Version
Therefore, thus said YHWH of Hosts, God of Israel: “Behold, I am causing them—this people—to eat wormwood, "" And I have caused them to drink water of gall,

NET Bible
So then, listen to what I, the LORD God of Israel who rules over all, say. 'I will make these people eat the bitter food of suffering and drink the poison water of judgment.

New Heart English Bible
therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Look, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

World English Bible
therefore thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

Young's Literal Translation
Therefore, thus said Jehovah of Hosts, God of Israel: Lo, I am causing them -- this people -- to eat wormwood, And I have caused them to drink water of gall,

Revelation 8:11
The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter like wormwood oil, and many people died from the bitter waters.

Deuteronomy 29:18
Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations. Make sure there is no root among you that bears such poisonous and bitter fruit,

Psalm 80:5
You fed them with the bread of tears and made them drink the full measure of their tears.

Jeremiah 8:14
Why are we just sitting here? Gather together, let us flee to the fortified cities and perish there, for the LORD our God has doomed us. He has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:15
Therefore this is what the LORD of Hosts says concerning the prophets: "I will feed them wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land."

Lamentations 3:15
He has filled me with bitterness He has intoxicated me with wormwood.

Lamentations 3:19
Remember my affliction and wandering, the wormwood and the gall.

Therefore thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

Jeremiah 8:14 Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

Jeremiah 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.


Source Another delicious dish you will find in Oman is the mouth-watering Mashuai! It is a dish consisting of roasted kingfish and savoury lemon rice.
Source A well-known delicacy in Oman is Mushaltat, which is a soft flatbread stuffed with honey, meat, spinach or cheese. The bread is made out of refined wheat flour and kneaded into thin cakes, stuffed with ingredients and baked for about 5 minutes.

Sardines

Fish is the best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3½ ounce servings of fish per week.

A 2017 analysis of 14 studies involving a total of 1,378 people, published in the journal Atherosclerosis, found that those who consumed between 0.7 and 5 ounces of oily fish daily showed significant improvements in levels of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides dropped an average of 9.7 mg/dL, and HDL levels rose an average of 2.3 mg/dL.

Unfortunately, some types of fish that are omega-3 rich have too much mercury (think mackerel or albacore tuna) or are pricey (such as salmon). Sardines are a low-mercury choice and pack nearly 1,000 mg of omega-3s in just 3½ ounces. Plus, they’re inexpensive and, because they come canned, convenient.


Crawfish

Judy Bellah / Getty Images

How to say it: Just how it looks, but not "Crayfish."

What it is: A freshwater crustacean that is both trapped wild in the swamps of Southern Louisiana and farmed as an off-season product in the state's thousands of watery rice fields, the crawfish was once looked down on as a poor man's dinner, but like so many other formerly un-fancy foods, it's now a beloved delicacy around the state (which both harvests and consumes 95% of the crawfish in the country).

You'll see crawfish prepared lots of ways on menus all over town, from the rich and decadent crawfish étouffée (a spicy stew, served over rice) to crawfish pie. To really get a feel for the tasty little guys, go pure: boiled crawfish.

Boiled crawfish usually come in three-pound or five-pound orders, and they'll arrive on a big tray, having been boiled with spices, chunks of potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, and sometimes mushrooms or chunks of smoked sausage. Three pounds is a good serving for a reasonably hungry adult, five pounds for big eaters (remember that most of the weight is in the inedible shell).

It's not a bad idea to put in one three-pound order at a time for the table to share, especially if you're not sure you like them or you're a new (slow) peeler. That way, each round is hot and fresh, and you won't accidentally over-order. A dipping sauce may be served, or the server will bring you a little bowl, a few packets of mayonnaise, and a few bottles of hot sauce, and you'll mix your own.

Where to eat it: For the best boiled crawfish, you have to jump in the car and head out to Cajun country, but if in New Orleans, you'll do quite well to make your way to Franky and Johnny's in Uptown. It's a neighborhood joint, and you'll get to quietly listen in on some fun local gossip if you're so inclined. Other good options are Deanie's in the French Quarter and Zimmer's out toward Gentilly. And try other crawfish dishes at restaurants all over town. New Orleans chefs and home cooks alike have come up with a thousand different ways to serve them, and they're all worth trying.


9 Ridiculously Good Lebanese Foods You Need to Try

Heading to Beirut or want to bring a little piece of Lebanon into your kitchen? Here are 9 delicious Lebanese dishes you need to taste and try. If your kitchen needs a bit of Beirut or you want to explore some new foods, then you need to check out these delicious tasty treats. Lebanese food is hearty, with sugar, spice and all things nice! So test out these recipes yourself and you're bound to love them!

1. Kibbeh

Lebanon’s National Dish is calling your name, tempting you to crunch into its crazy delicious fried exterior to let those sautéed pine nuts and spicy minced meat waken up your tongue. Yum! Make them at home with DedeMed’s recipe.

2. Kafta

The kafta is a happy little lamb, beef or chicken meatball, filled with onion, parsley, breadcrumbs and spices. These guys are barbecued on skewers or served in a gravy. Saveur have a lamb recipe to get you started.

3. Kanafeh

Sweeten up your day with this sugary cheese pastry smothered in orange blossom syrup. Cheese, sugar and butter are best friends in the kanafeh. Want to make your own? Get ready to drool with Maureen Abood’s Blog.

4. Hummus

Carrot sticks taste so much better with a huge scoop of hummus on the end! This chickpea, garlic and tahini blend of happiness is perfect for nibbles before dinner. Suzy at The Mediterranean Dish shows you step-by-step how to make delicious hummus.

5. Rice Pilaf

Rice is a super staple in Middle Eastern countries and Lebanon knows how to spruce it up. It is traditional to add fried vermicelli noodles and serve it with other delicious Lebanese meat dishes. Want a perfected recipe to try? The Lemon Bowl’s chef Liz, shares some secrets into making it just right.

6. Fattoush

Any salad that contains something deep fried is a good salad, are we right? And that is just what you can expect with fattoush. With crispy lettuce, bread and veggies, this is an ideal ‘I want to feel like I’m eating healthy, but still taste something’ dish. We especially liked A Cedar Spoon’s recipe – try it yourself.

7. Manakish

Bread topped with thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and olive oil, this ‘Lebanese Pizza’ is a popular breakfast food but can be enjoyed all day, every day. Learn a little about the manakish and try out the recipe at the food blog.

8. Tabbouleh

Ooh how we love tabbouleh! Parsley, mint, tomatoes and a bunch of other yummy stuff come together to make this die-hard side dish. Want to make a traditional Lebanese version? Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen has what you are looking for.

9. Sfeeha

Meat pies are always a good thing and in Lebanon they have their own version with an optimal meat to pie ratio. With no lid hiding the scrumptious insides, your eyes can start feasting on the good bits as soon as it hits the table. The Chef in Disguise has some great tips for when making sfeeha.

The only thing better than trying out these foods in your own kitchen, is making the trip to the source. Take your taste buds on a seriously sweet holiday and make Beirut your next destination. The Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel, Beirut offers stylish, upscale accommodation for those wanting a delicious stay from beginning to end. Get a taste of all things Beirut in the on-site Olivos Restaurant that will perfectly blend spices and aromas to take you on an unforgettable culinary journey.


What does the Bible say about eating/drinking blood?

In Acts 10, the apostle Peter began to realize just how different this new Christianity was from Judaism. While praying on a rooftop, waiting for lunch, he had a vision. A sheet was lowered from heaven, containing many different types of animals. A voice encouraged him to eat. Peter balked, realizing that some of the animals in the sheet were forbidden under Jewish law. Three times the sheet lowered, and three times Peter refused.

The vision had a dual purpose. The most obvious was that, under the New Covenant, the ceremonial rules about dietary restrictions had been lifted. Christians are to be set apart and recognized by their love (John 13:35), not by their lunches. The second, and deeper, meaning was that Christ’s salvation was open to Gentiles just as it was to Jews. Immediately after the vision, Peter received a visit by messengers from a (Gentile) centurion named Cornelius who was ready to accept Christ.

Carnivorous Christians know and enjoy the message of Peter’s vision. But the vision does not directly address the subject of eating blood, unless that’s included in the revocation of kosher law.

The Bible’s first prohibition against consuming blood comes in Genesis 9:2-4, where God tells Noah, "Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it." This prohibition was most likely a ban on eating raw blood (i.e., uncooked meat). For the first time, animals were an allowable food source, and God was making sure that Noah did not eat them raw. A Jewish Targum comments on this verse: "But the flesh which is torn from a living beast at the time that its life is in it, or which is torn from a beast while it is slain, before all its breath is gone out, ye shall not eat."

Later, the prohibition of Genesis 9:4 is iterated in the Law of Moses. Leviticus 17:14 gives the reason behind command: “For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life.”

It’s important to understand that New Testament believers in Christ have freedom from the Law, and we are to “stand firm” in that liberty (Galatians 5:1). We are not under the Law but under grace. “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink” (Colossians 2:16). So, eating a rare steak, blood sausage, blood pancakes, blood soup, or blood tofu may not be palatable to all Christians, but it is allowable.

There is another passage to consider. In Acts 15, a question arose in the early church concerning what was necessary for salvation. Specifically, did a Gentile need to be circumcised in order to be saved (verse 1)? The issue came up in the church in Syrian Antioch, which had a mixture of Jewish and Gentile converts. To address this important issue, the leaders of the church met in Jerusalem for the very first church council. They concluded that, no, Gentiles did not need to follow Mosaic Law circumcision is not part of salvation (verse 19). However, in verse 29, the leaders compose a letter with these instructions for the Gentiles in Antioch: “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.” At this point, we must keep the context foremost in our minds. These four commands from Jerusalem to Antioch all dealt with pagan practices associated with idolatry. Most, if not all, of the Gentile converts in Antioch were saved out of paganism. The church leaders were exhorting the new Gentile believers to make a clean break from their old lifestyles and not offend their Jewish brothers and sisters in the church. The instructions were not intended to guarantee salvation but to promote peace within the early church.

Later, Paul dealt with the same issue. It is perfectly all right to eat meat offered to idols, he says. “Nothing is unclean in itself” (Romans 14:14). But if eating that meat causes a brother in Christ to violate his conscience, Paul “will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall” (1 Corinthians 8:13). This was the same concern the Jerusalem leaders had in Acts 15: if the Gentile believers ate meat with the blood in it, the Jewish believers might be tempted to violate their conscience and join them in the feast. One’s conscience is a sacred thing, and we dare not act against it (see 1 Corinthians 8:7-12 and Romans 14:5).

In short, ordering your steak rare or well done is a matter of conscience and of taste. What enters the mouth does not make us unclean (see Matthew 15:17-18). Eating black pudding may not appeal to everyone, but it is not a sin. We live under grace. We have liberty in Christ. Others may have different convictions about food and drink, and in that case we voluntarily limit our freedom in order to better serve them and God. “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14:19).


Jewish Dietary Laws (Kashrut): Overview of Laws & Regulations

Kashrut is the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods can and cannot be eaten and how those foods must be prepared. The word "Kashrut" comes from the Hebrew meaning fit, proper or correct.

The word "kosher," which describes food that meets the standards of kashrut, is also often used to describe ritual objects that are made in accordance with Jewish law and are fit for ritual use. Food that is not kosher is referred to as treif (literally torn).

Kosher is not a style of cooking and therefore there is no such thing as "kosher-style" food. Any kind of food - Chinese, Mexican, Indian, etc. - can be kosher if it is prepared in accordance with Jewish law. At the same time, traditionalJewish foods like knishes, bagels, blintzes and matzah ball soup can all be treif if not prepared in accordance with Jewish law.

Why Do Jews Observe the Laws of Kashrut?

Many modern Jews think that the laws of kashrut are simply primitive health regulations that have become obsolete with modern methods of food preparation. There is no question that some of the dietary laws have beneficial health effects. For example, the laws regarding kosher slaughter are so sanitary that kosher butchers and slaughterhouses are often exempted from USDA regulations.

However, health is not the main reason for Jewish dietary laws and in fact many of the laws of kashrut have no known connection with health. To the best of our modern scientific knowledge, there is no reason why camel or rabbit meat (both treif) is any less healthy than cow or goat meat. In addition, some of the health benefits derived from kashrut were not made obsolete by the refrigerator. For example, there is some evidence that eating meat and dairy together interferes with digestion, and no modern food preparation technique reproduces the health benefit of the kosher law of eating them separately.

The short answer to why Jews observe these laws is because the Torah says so. The Torah does not specify a reason for these laws but for an observant Jew there is no need for a reason - Jews show their belief and obedience to God by following the laws even though they do not know the specific reason.

In the book To Be a Jew, Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin suggests that kashrut laws are designed as a call to holiness. The ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, pure and defiled, the sacred and the profane, is very important in Judaism. Imposing rules on what you can and cannot eat ingrains that kind of self control. In addition, it elevates the simple act of eating into a religious ritual. The Jewish dinner table is often compared to the Temple altar in rabbinic literature.

Is Keeping Kosher Difficult?

Keeping kosher is not particularly difficult in and of itself what makes keeping kosher difficult is the fact that the rest of the world does not do so.

The basic underlying rules are fairly simple. If you buy your meat at a kosher butcher and buy only kosher certified products at the market, the only thing you need to think about is the separation of meat and dairy.

Keeping kosher only becomes difficult when you try to eat in a non-kosher restaurant or at the home of a person who does not keep kosher. In those situations, your lack of knowledge about your host's ingredients and the food preparation techniques make it very difficult to keep kosher. Some commentators have pointed out, however, that this may well have been part of what G-d had in mind: to make it more difficult for us to socialize with those who do not share our religion.

The Fundamental Rules of Kashrut

Although the details of kashrut are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:

  1. Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
  2. Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
  3. All blood must be drained from the meat or broiled out of it before it is eaten.
  4. Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
  5. Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).
  6. Utensils that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
  7. Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.

The Details

Animals That Cannot be Eaten

Of the "beasts of the earth" (which basically refers to land mammals with the exception of swarming rodents), you may eat any animal that has cloven hooves and chews its cud. Lev. 11:3 Deut. 14:6. Any land mammal that does not have both of these qualities is forbidden. The Torah specifies that the camel, the rock badger, the hare and the pig are not kosher because each lacks one of these two qualifications. Sheep, cattle, goats and deer are kosher.

Of the things that are in the waters, you may eat anything that has fins and scales. Lev. 11:9 Deut. 14:9. Thus, shellfish such as lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams and crabs are all forbidden. Fish like tuna, carp, salmon and herring are all permitted.

For birds, the criteria is less clear. The Torah lists forbidden birds (Lev. 11:13-19 Deut. 14:11-18), but does not specify why these particular birds are forbidden. All of the birds on the list are birds of prey or scavengers, thus the rabbis inferred that this was the basis for the distinction. Other birds are permitted, such as chicken, geese, ducks and turkeys.

Of the "winged swarming things" (winged insects), a few are specifically permitted (Lev. 11:22), but the Sages are no longer certain which ones they are, so all have been forbidden.

Rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and insects (except as mentioned above) are all forbidden. Lev. 11:29-30, 42-43.

As mentioned above, any product derived from these forbidden animals, such as their milk, eggs, fat, or organs, also cannot be eaten. Rennet, an enzyme used to harden cheese, is often obtained from non-kosher animals, thus kosher hard cheese can be difficult to find.

Kosher Slaughter (Shechitah)

The mammals and birds that may be eaten must be slaughtered in accordance with Jewish law. (Deut. 12:21). We may not eat animals that died of natural causes (Deut. 14:21) or that were killed by other animals. In addition, the animal must have no disease or flaws in the organs at the time of slaughter. These restrictions do not apply to fish only to the flocks and herds (Num. 11:22).

Ritual slaughter is known as shechitah, and the person who performs the slaughter is called a shochet, both from the Hebrew root Shin-Chet-Tav, meaning to destroy or kill. The method of slaughter is a quick, deep stroke across the throat with a perfectly sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness. This method is painless, causes unconsciousness within two seconds, and is widely recognized as the most humane method of slaughter possible.

Another advantage of shechitah is that ensures rapid, complete draining of the blood, which is also necessary to render the meat kosher.

The shochet is not simply a butcher he must be a pious man, well-trained in Jewish law, particularly as it relates to kashrut. In smaller, more remote communities, the rabbi and the shochet were often the same person.

Draining of Blood

The Torah prohibits consumption of blood. Lev. 7:26-27 Lev. 17:10-14. This is the only dietary law that has a reason specified in Torah: we do not eat blood because the life of the animal is contained in the blood. This applies only to the blood of birds and mammals, not to fish blood. Thus, it is necessary to remove all blood from the flesh of kosher animals.

The first step in this process occurs at the time of slaughter. As discussed above, shechitah allows for rapid draining of most of the blood.

The remaining blood must be removed, either by broiling or soaking and salting. Liver may only be kashered by the broiling method, because it has so much blood in it and such complex blood vessels. This final process must be completed within 72 hours after slaughter, and before the meat is frozen or ground. Most butchers and all frozen food vendors take care of the soaking and salting for you, but you should always check this when you are buying someplace you are unfamiliar with.

An egg that contains a blood spot may not be eaten. This isn't very common, but I find them once in a while. It is a good idea to break an egg into a container and check it before you put it into a heated pan, because if you put a blood-stained egg into a heated pan, the pan becomes non-kosher.

Forbidden Fats & Nerves

The sciatic nerve and its adjoining blood vessels may not be eaten. The process of removing this nerve is time consuming and not cost-effective, so most American slaughterers simply sell the hind quarters to non-kosher butchers.

A certain kind of fat, known as chelev, which surrounds the vital organs and the liver, may not be eaten. Kosher butchers remove this. Modern scientists have found biochemical differences between this type of fat and the permissible fat around the muscles and under the skin.

Separation of Meat & Dairy

On three separate occasions, the Torah tells us not to "boil a kid in its mother's milk." (Ex. 23:19 Ex. 34:26 Deut. 14:21). The Oral Torah explains that this passage prohibits eating meat and dairy together. The rabbis extended this prohibition to include not eating milk and poultry together. It is, however, permissible to eat fish and dairy together, and it is quite common. It is also permissible to eat dairy and eggs together. According to some views, it is not permissible to eat meat and fish together, but I am not certain of the reason for that restriction.

This separation includes not only the foods themselves, but the utensils, pots and pans with which they are cooked, the plates and flatware from which they are eaten, the dishwashers or dishpans in which they are cleaned, and the towels on which they are dried. A kosher household will have at least two sets of pots, pans and dishes: one for meat and one for dairy. See Utensils below for more details.

One must wait a significant amount of time between eating meat and dairy. Opinions differ, and vary from three to six hours. This is because fatty residues and meat particles tend to cling to the mouth. From dairy to meat, however, one need only rinse one's mouth and eat a neutral solid like bread, unless the dairy product in question is also of a type that tends to stick in the mouth.

The Yiddish words fleishig (meat), milchig (dairy) and pareve (neutral) are commonly used to describe food or utensils that fall into one of those categories.

Note that even the smallest quantity of dairy (or meat) in something renders it entirely dairy (or meat) for purposes of kashrut. For example, most margarines are dairy for kosher purposes, because they contain a small quantity of whey or other dairy products to give it a dairy-like taste. Animal fat is considered meat for purposes of kashrut. You should read the ingredients very carefully, even if the product is kosher-certified.

Utensils (pots, pans, plates, flatware, etc., etc.) must also be kosher. A utensil picks up the kosher "status" (meat, dairy, pareve, or treif) of the food that is cooked in it or eaten off of it, and transmits that status back to the next food that is cooked in it or eaten off of it. Thus, if you cook chicken soup in a saucepan, the pan becomes meat. If you thereafter use the same saucepan to heat up some warm milk, the fleishig status of the pan is transmitted to the milk, and the milchig status of the milk is transmitted to the pan, making both the pan and the milk a forbidden mixture.

Kosher status can be transmitted from the food to the utensil or from the utensil to the food only in the presence of heat, thus if you are eating cold food in a non-kosher establishment, the condition of the plates is not an issue. Likewise, you could use the same knife to slice cold cuts and cheese, as long as you clean it in between, but this is not really a recommended procedure, because it increases the likelihood of mistakes.

Stovetops and sinks routinely become non-kosher utensils, because they routinely come in contact with both meat and dairy in the presence of heat. It is necessary, therefore, to use dishpans when cleaning dishes (don't soak them directly in the sink) and to use separate spoonrests and trivets when putting things down on the stovetop.

Dishwashers are a kashrut problem. If you are going to use a dishwasher in a kosher home, you either need to have separate dish racks or you need to run the dishwasher in between meat and dairy loads.

You should use separate towels and pot holders for meat and dairy. Routine laundering kashers such items, so you can simply launder them between using them for meat and dairy.

Certain kinds of utensils can be "kashered" if you make a mistake and use it with both meat and dairy. Consult a rabbi for guidance if this situation occurs.

Grape Products

The restrictions on grape products derive from the laws against using products of idolatry. Wine was commonly used in the rituals of all ancient religions, and wine was routinely sanctified for pagan purposes while it was being processed. For this reason, use of wines and other grape products made by non-Jews was prohibited. (Whole grapes are not a problem, nor are whole grapes in fruit cocktail).

For the most part, this rule only affects wine and grape juice. This becomes a concern with many fruit drinks or fruit-flavored drinks, which are often sweetened with grape juice. You may also notice that it is virtually impossible to find kosher baking powder, because baking powder is made with cream of tartar, a by-product of wine making.

Kashrut Certification

The task of keeping kosher is greatly simplified by widespread kashrut certification. Approximately three-quarters of all prepackaged foods in the United States and Canada, at least, have some kind of kosher certification, and most major brands have reliable Orthodox certification.

The symbols of kashrut certification are all widely-accepted and commonly found on products throughout the United States. It is very easy to spot these marks on food labels, usually near the product name, occasionally near the list of ingredients.

The most controversial certification is the K, a plain letter K found on products asserted to be kosher. All other kosher certification marks are trademarked and cannot be used without the permission of the certifying organization. The certifying organization stands behind the kashrut of the product. But you cannot trademark a letter of the alphabet, so any manufacturer can put a K on a product. For example, Jell-O brand gelatin puts a K on its product, even though every reliable Orthodox authority agrees that Jell-O is not kosher.

It is becoming increasingly common for kosher certifying organizations to indicate whether the product is fleishig, milchig or pareve. If the product is dairy, it will frequently have a D or the word Dairy next to the kashrut symbol. If it is meat, the word Meat or an M may appear near the symbol. If it is pareve, the word Pareve (or Parev) may appear near the symbol (Not a P! That means kosher for Passover!). If no such clarification appears, you should read the ingredient list carefully to determine whether the product is meat, dairy or pareve.

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Modern Greek cuisine is often a mix of the traditional ways of cooking, and new innovations from chefs who have studied abroad and later come back to Greece to experiment and implement what they&rsquove learned into the Greek kitchen.

However, a lot of the traditional Greek cuisine is still being served in the restaurants countrywide. The Greek civilization has a long history that goes back to the Ancient Greeks and beyond, but during this time the cuisine has also changed. Especially when the tomatoes, lemons, and potatoes were introduced.

However, one thing still holds true for the Greek cuisine, and that&rsquos the focus on authentic ingredients of high quality, and the passion for food in general. Also, the fact that many products are grown locally, and the dishes are still fairly simple, yet executed to perfection.

Many Greek dishes are cooked slowly and seasoned with herbs and oil instead of exotic spices from other countries.

Which of these Greek Foods would you like to try? Or if you have already been to Greece, which one of these is your favorite Greek dish?


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