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KASHRUS MAGAZINE
2014 Kosher Travel Guide
Your 95 Page Guide to 283 Great Places to Visit @ $8.95
2014 Kosher Travel Guide
Plus: Kosher and Obamacare; Not Quite Kosher!; Baaacon, Facon, Shmacon; Kosher Rabbi Accused of Fraud

Not Quite Kosher - Canadian University Offers Kosher Style Brisket As Kosher -

While many schools across the U.S. have instituted full kosher programs, many others are still lagging along. It is one thing to have no kosher food on campus or to have limited kosher fare; it is another thing entirely to offer “partially kosher.” Here is the story about one Canadian school that did just that. “Carleton University’s cafeteria offered a kosher brisket lunch to students on April 18.” At least that is what the write-up about the meal said, but kosher it was not! So said the chef, whom KASHRUS interviewed. “Carleton University students stressed out by exams may have been comforted by memories of bubbie’s kitchen April 18 when the university introduced fresh kosher brisket into its main residence cafeteria.” “Memories of bubbie’s kitchen” (which was kosher, and brisket was bubbie’s favorite), but Carleton’s brisket was not kosher, at least not when it was finally served. “The campus eatery added 18 kilograms of the Jewish comfort food to the day’s meal options…” Yes, this brisket was bought kosher and prepared in the non-kosher ovens in Carleton’s kitchen by the school’s non-Jewish chef and crew. Non-kosher pans, non-kosher oven, bishul akum… but “kosher” brisket. This is not news. There are plenty of kosher style eateries these days. “Full kosher” is being reserved for the Orthodox (with 11% of the Conservative Jews still interested). But Carleton’s story is truly dismaying. Read on. The write-up claims that the brisket was made using a new pot and new cooking and serving utensils and points out that the chef had worked for a kosher caterer in Toronto and was familiar with kosher. However, the chef was quick to advise KASHRUS that the meat was not really kosher; it had not been prepared kosher. Indeed, he told us that he is working towards setting up a full kosher program, one with a full range of foods and under kosher certification for the preparation and serving, but, as yet, they are only holding meetings towards that goal. “Until now, options for kosher students have been limited to sandwiches made off campus, but those meals were meat-free. Otherwise, students could choose vegetarian food options [prepared on non-kosher equipment with bishul akum rendering the food halachicly non-kosher] or cook their own food that they purchased from the closest supermarket with kosher food, a Loblaws that is a 30-minute bus ride from campus.” At Carleton they still have a long way to go.

Baaacon, Facon, Shmacon - The Real Story -

Bacon is “in” today. More and more companies are choosing to make a bacon-flavored product. Here is a look at some of the kosher ones and one non-kosher product produced by a Jewish company, Schmaltz Products. B-A-A-A-Con, a bacon-like meat product, is kosher-certified by the “Star-K.” Chaim and Hillel Silverberg felt the world was ready for this kosher lamb product (made from a Shenandoah-raised lamb belly). Facon, smoky and salty dry-cured beef, kosher certified by the ”OU” and by Kehilah Kashrus (Brooklyn, NY), is produced by Jack’s Gourmet. Shmacon is a NON-KOSHER take-off on bacon, made from beef, not pork. It is produced by Schmaltz Products, LLC (Chicago, IL). Other kosher-certified bacon flavored products on sale today include: Bacon-Flavored Ritz Crackers, OU-certified, which are artificially flavored, J & D’s Bacon Salt (“KOF-K”-certified), Betty Crocker’s Bac-Os Bacon Flavor Bits and Bac-Os Bacon-Flavor Chips (“OU”-certified), Kernel Season’s Popcorn Seasoning Bacon Cheddar (“cRc”-certified). Actually, the desire to consume non-kosher-tasting foods, is not new. Now, almost forgotten, Mendel’s Heimish brand fish products had touted the slogan, “It’s not shrimp.” They used pollock formed into and made to taste like shrimp. Today’s kosher restaurants, at least in the Borough of Brooklyn, think nothing of putting “imitation crab” on their menu. KASHRUS even spotted the menu of one Brooklyn restaurant (with a Chassidishe hashgacha) listing crab, without the word “imitation” before the word “crab.” And, yes, today you can find “cheeseburger” in a glatt-kosher meat restaurant and certainly on a kosher-certified vegetarian or dairy restaurant. And how about “ice cream” as dessert on a caterer’s menu or that of a glatt restaurant. Indeed, in 1984, the babirusa (called pig-deer), made headlines when the Western World discovered it living in Indonesia. You see, the babirusa has split hooves and chews its cud. In many respects it appears to be a pig, yet has characteristics of a deer, especially its horns. Even if it had proper signs of a kosher animals, without a tradition (mesorah) of being kosher, it cannot be eaten. Indeed, it seems that the kosher market makes good use of our desire to know how non-kosher tastes.

Can Your Children Make the Correct Choice? -

Making decisions is a job for adults, says common wisdom. Young children, on the other hand, only have to do what they are told. Common wisdom tells us that teenagers never have to make kashrus decisions. Common wisdom is sadly mistaken, as the following episodes make clear. From elementary school to the teen years, our children face many choices, guided by what they remember of their parents’ words. *** Avigayil was eating potato chips during recess when the teacher started scolding her – and the first grader wasn’t sure what she had done wrong. The teacher said something was wrong with her snack, causing Avigayil to feel confused and upset. She didn’t steal anyone else’s snack, she was eating what her mother had given her! After recess, the teacher announced that a certain brand of snack was of questionable kashrus, and no one should trade their own snacks for it. At the next recess, Avigayil realized she was the only one eating that brand of snack. No one in her class would trade snack with her, and a few kids laughed at her. Avigayil was too embarrassed to tell her mother, and for the rest of the year, recess was her worst part of school. *** Barry invited his whole class to a birthday party on Sunday afternoon. Excitedly, he announced they’d have games, ice cream, and a big barbeque. His classmate David knew that Barry’s family eats dairy and meat at the same meal. Then and there, he told Barry that his family already had plans for that Sunday. It wasn’t a lie, he felt. His family had plans to eat kosher. He went home feeling quite pleased with himself. When David told his Mom about it that evening, Mom was extremely surprised. Barry’s family would never serve meat and milk together. They might serve ice cream, then play games, then eat hamburgers and hot dogs well after all the ice cream was put away. David’s mom called Barry’s mom, and asked about the party food. It turned out that the ice-cream cake for dessert was not dairy, but pareve. David attended Barry’s party and had a great time. *** Esther’s class went to a Shabbaton in Lakewood, where they would spend Shabbos with a class their own age. When their bus broke down, her class stayed overnight in a hotel which served a Continental breakfast. The trays of food held Dannon yogurt, Philadelphia cream cheese, and Thomas’ English muffins. They also served fresh cut fruit and Tropicana orange juice. Some of the girls ate everything, and Esther was confused. Her mother never served these brands, were they kosher? Her friend Faigy explained that these were not “cholov yisroel” but “cholov stam,” which means that in America, cow’s milk is the only milk, and while it doesn’t have kosher supervision, halachicly some deem it as acceptably kosher. The muffins were also a national brand which was certified kosher. Esther decided that since her mother didn’t serve these foods, she wouldn't eat them. She did drink the juice and eat the cut fruit. Her cousin, who traveled a lot, said that big hotels had to cut so much fruit, it was prepared on its own counter, and was not cut with a knife that had just been used for meat or dairy. *** Gavriel’s friend Danny invited him to his house. As a good host, Danny offered potato chips, pretzels, and candy. The candy had a brand and kashrus symbol Gavriel didn’t recognize. He had to choose between eating something with an unfamiliar kosher sign, refusing the candy altogether, or calling home to ask his parents if they knew what the symbol was. Gavriel was too embarrassed to call his family and ask, in front of Danny, about the kashrus symbol. He wondered for a while, if ‘my friend is eating it’ is a good proof of kashrus, but remembered overhearing his mother’s discussion with her friend. They had been invited to a mutual friend’s house and arranged to meet at a restaurant instead. While Mom’s friend was a good person, she ate foods with kashrus symbols Mom didn’t trust. Gavriel realized that ‘my friend is eating it’ doesn’t mean ‘I can eat it,’ and he didn’t eat the candy. When Danny asked why Gavriel ate only the pretzels and potato chips, he said he was going to the dentist soon and didn’t want to eat sticky candy. He didn’t want to insult his friend, and reasoned that he wasn’t really telling a lie, since any visit to the dentist was too soon for him. *** Zach’s family went to his cousin’s bar mitzvah. Before they left, his dad explained that while Zach’s family only ate meat and chicken with a chassidishe kosher certification, the cousins ate a less strict certification, which was still perfectly kosher. Therefore, Zach’s family would eat a big meal before the bar mitzvah. They could eat anything but the actual meat – including cake, Zach was relived to find out. At the bar mitzvah, Zach ran around with his cousins while the adults talked and talked. At the table, he only took French fries and no hot dogs or hamburgers. In the summer, Zach’s family visited the cousins for a party, not a meal. His parents said this time, he could eat all the junk food he wanted. At the end of the party, the cousins served ice cream – and Zach didn’t know what kosher certification it had. He didn’t want to bother his parents, talking in the other room. He couldn’t use his usual excuse, “I have allergies,” because all his cousins knew he had no allergies. All the kids were sprinkling toppings over their bowls of ice cream, but Zach didn’t even pick up his spoon. He didn’t want to bother his parents, but he didn’t know if he should eat it or not. Peer pressure plus his love of ice cream equaled a strong dilemma. Finally, he decided that his parents said he could eat all the junk food he wanted, and ice cream was junk food. He loaded the ice cream with toppings and ate the whole thing. Later, his parents told him they hadn’t eaten the ice cream because it wasn’t cholov yisroel. Zach didn’t mention that he had eaten two bowls. *** These episodes, and others like them, should give young kids, teens, and parents the stimulus to talk frankly to each other about kashrus situations that might arise.

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