Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on April 13, 2008.
The great feast of Pessa’h, or the Jewish Passover that starts at sunset this evening, commemorates the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. So this is a perfect occasion to explain the main rules of kosher foods, that is, foods that are “suitable” or “clean” for consumption by practicing Jews.
There are many rules in the Bible and Talmud and they are often very complicated. They primarily refer to foods of animal origin that are allowed as long as the animal has been killed according to a particular ritual. Permitted meats include those of animals that ruminate and have cloven hooves, such as ox, calf, and lamb. However pigs, horses and rabbits are excluded. Poultry is considered to be kosher.
Only fish with scales and fins are allowed, therefore, no shellfish. Moreover, consumption of meat and dairy products at the same meal is strictly prohibited. Certain products of vegetal origin, such as bread or wine, are also subject to rules and are sold under a kosher label. Although this week’s recipes are not derived from Jewish tradition, they do comply with these kosher rules. Shalom!
Try these Kosher recipes: