What is Kosher or Kashrut?
Before you enrol to the best Kosher Professional Chef Course in the world, you need to know something about it.
Let's start with the basics, the kashrut ( kosher noun ) are all laws regarding what is allowed to eat and not eat within Jewish law. It is very simple, in the Pentateuch many passages appear where you are told “of such food you will not eat” or “you will not cook such with such”. All those foods that the Torah prohibits we do not eat and call them taref (forbidden). In addition, there is another group of food and culinary practices that are not explicitly prohibited in the Torah, but are prohibited in the Talmud, or whose prohibition is deduced from certain passages, we do not eat those foods either and also fall into the category of taref .
As for everything we can eat, it is called kosher, which in Hebrew is an adjective that means "appropriate," that is, that it complies with all the thoracic and Talmudic laws.
The separate kashrut includes all the philosophy that has been developed around Jewish cooking practices. It is a way of connecting with God through the sanctification of food, dedicating to Him the joy of eating. For many Jews it is one of the most important practices they carry out in their daily lives, it helps them feel protected and surrounded by Gd and Judaism.
The rules that comprise kashrut are extensive and quite specific about; They are found in different Talmudic treaties. Understanding and fulfilling them fully requires several years of work and study, there are several rabbis who specialize in that subject and advise who has not been able to do so. However, the most basic and necessary laws to maintain a house with kosher food are simple and popular knowledge among Jews. Below we show you rules within four fundamental areas of kashrut that you can try to follow whenever you want. They are the following:
1. Pets allowed and animals prohibited
As for mammals and land animals, you can only eat ruminant animals (with more than one stomach) and have a split hoof, so that the animal is kosher it must have both characteristics, if one is missing it is taref. For example, the cow is kosher (it can be eaten) because it has a broken hoof and more than one stomach. While the pig is taref because although he has a broken hoof, he only has one stomach. In the case of the rabbit and the horse for example, although they are ruminants they do not have the broken hoof, so they cannot be eaten.
As for birds, almost all of them can be eaten with the exception of 21 species listed in the Talmud, which are very rare, wild and difficult to obtain as scavengers.
As for marine animals, you can only eat animals that have fins and scales , that is, almost all fish. However, you cannot eat shellfish, manta rays, or sharks, among other animals.
You can't eat amphibians, reptiles, worms, or insects (with the exception of four specific types of lobster).
Nor can you eat a product that derives from these animals. That is, you can not eat the milk of non-kosher animals , or their egg, or their fat, or anything that comes from them for more processes to the product. The only exception is the bee, of which if we can eat the honey it produces since it is assumed that the pollen with which it takes the flowers.
2. Kosher Meat
So that your food is kosher, not only does the animal that you choose to eat matter, but also the process that takes place in cooking, the preparation of it and obviously the death that the animal receives. A cow for example, the animal itself is suitable for eating, but if the meat that is sold did not carry out a certain process, it is not kosher and cannot be eaten. The most common rules to know if the final product is kosher are the following:
a) You cannot eat all parts of animals, for example, the sciatic nerve, the fats that surround vital organs such as the liver and blood cannot be eaten.
b) You cannot eat the part of a live animal.
In some countries of the East, such as China, Taiwan and Japan it is very common to eat live animals. In other countries it is customary to take a leg off the animal and leave it alive so that it can produce other products, which the animal produces in its daily life, such as milk for example. That is completely prohibited for Torah. Before eating any meat you have to make sure that the animal from which you are eating its meat has been killed before that meat was taken.
c) The animal from which you take the meat cannot be sick. Before killing the animal you should check 18 vital points that are indicative of its health.
d) You must kill him with justice and mercy causing him as little pain as possible. This is the most famous premise of kosher meat in almost the entire world.
For the meat to be kosher the cow must be made shejita at the time of killing her. This is a cut in the throat that prevents your suffering. It should be done by a person who has studied and prepared for it, which we call shojet. The knives that are used are properly sharpened so that the cut is fast and clean and does not unnecessarily hurt the animal. It is forbidden to cause suffering at the time of his death and before starting, the shojet must make the blessings due, so that the act is sacred and really the life of the cow is elevated through its sacrifice. It is also he who checks the vital signs of the cow and who separates the parts that cannot be eaten.
3. You cannot mix milk and meat
If you enter a house or a restaurant attended by Orthodox Jews you probably notice that there are two sponges, two dishes of different colors, cabinets with colored marks or signs that say “milk”, “meat” or “parvé” what does this mean ? That we don't mix milk and meat in the food.
This is a very strong ban on Torah, so it is carried out in the strictest way. So that your food is kosher, no milk derivative can touch the meat you eat and vice versa. That is, you cannot eat a cheeseburger, a yogurt sauce with chicken, or an onion soup with consommé and a piece of parmesan. It does not matter that the final product has a very small amount of either, however tiny it may be, you cannot eat it with the other.
This applies equally to kitchen utensils and food. The dishes, the pots, the cutlery we use absorb the ingredients and the taste of the food we handle with them. Therefore, if a dish was used to eat meat or chicken you cannot use it again to eat dairy products if it has not carried out a kasherization process. That is the reason why observant families have two to three dishes and various sets of utensils, separated with colors and cabinets.
4. What is Parve?
Parve are all ingredients that are not derived from either milk or meat. That is vegetables, fruits, fish, cereals, eggs, among others. The wonder of these foods is that they can be combined with meat or milk as the person prefers, so they are extremely useful.
Surely if you enter a store of kosher products you will find signs that say “chicken consommé parve” or “milk parve”, what is not a contradiction? Completely, it is a way to call products that have that flavor, but do not have a pinch of meat or milk in total, such as soy meat, for example. "Parvé milk" is usually made with almond or oatmeal and the "chicken parve consommé" of vegetables and salts that produce a similar flavor.
5. The kosher should not be contaminated from the Taref
Just as meat should not be mixed with milk so that it is appropriate to eat it, kosher food should not be mixed with food that is not kosher , because that makes it taref (not kosher), just like utensils.
6. Enjoy it
The most important of all the rules is that you learn to know yourself through them and that they help you find God. What kosher is a tremendous opportunity to learn from the strength, self - control and challenge. Finally, you know how far you want to take it and how to relate to this concept. There are many more things that can be said about him and have been said, that you can explore. We really hope this information works for you.