Decoding Kosher

Living in New Delhi, we may have come across the term 'Halal' a lot but I can guarantee that most people are ignorant to say the least about Kosher food,  including me. A chance encounter with a tiny Kosher café in Europe made me delve deeper into the concept. I realised all I knew about Kosher was that it was a Jewish concept that laid certain dietary restrictions on its practitioners.

After stepping into this quaint little café and chatting up with my server, I realised how much I really didn’t know. So, apart from selling Kosher food like cakes, cookies, dips, antipasti, wine & pasta, they also do a mean breakfast, meals-in-a-bowl, NY style bagels, jacket sweet potatoes & fresh salads. I ended up ordering for their Sesame & Poppy Seed Bagel with Hummus, Mashed Avocado, Marinated Eggplant, Pickled Onions & Mesclun Greens.

 Kosher or not, it was sensational! Light fresh Mediterranean flavours, packed in a sturdy seedy bagel. 
I also tried a baked sweet potato with Vegan Cream Cheese. The potato was delicious, the cream cheese had a distinct cashew flavour and sour undertones, though it complemented the carbs well, it really shouldn’t be masquerading as Cream Cheese.
I did get to learn that Kosher food prohibits certain meats like Pork & mixing meat with dairy is also restricted. Hence the Vegan Cream Cheese. They claimed that most of the products on sale are imported directly from Israel but I saw a lot of French on their wrappers. After that enlightening conversation, I comprehended that eating meat, dairy & fish in the same meal is basically forbidden.

So, Jews need to let a certain amount of time pass before they can consume another food group after having one of these. So, you can’t use dairy in any meat or fish preparations; that sounds pretty scientific to me. In any case, it’s advised that we shouldn’t mix milk with chicken or fish. In spite of being an entirely different concept, it’s quite straightforward.
I really wish we were more aware of such practices and had a little more cultural sensitivity when it comes to matters like these. 
I know we have a substantial Jewish population in Mumbai & Kolkata but that doesn’t mean we should be ignorant in other parts of the country. I would love to see some restaurants take the initiative & go Kosher.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *