Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Looks Like a Goose, Tastes like a Pig - a Kosher Pig...

It's not yet April Fool's - but I couldn't resist including this. After all, it is supposedly true, according to Haaretz, one of Israel's major national daily newspapers.

An organically grown, Spanish goose has been located that, apparently, tastes just like a pig. Of course, observant Jews cannot eat pigs, which are one of the animals expressly forbidden in the Torah for consumption. But there is nothing wrong with eating a goose that tastes like a pig, as long as it has been slaughtered in accordance with Jewish law.

The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, has given these geese the official stamp of approval. So Israeli restaurants that observe Kosher dietary laws (certainly not all restaurants in Israel are Kosher) will soon be able to sell Kosher "pork" – (which will really be disguised goose). Score another one for those observant Jews who just have to find a way to eat what everyone else is eating - more or less. And it is bound to help with those Jews who have always wanted to keep Kosher but just can’t give up the swine...

Personally – I have never really gotten excited about simulated bacon bits, kosher imitation crab, fake pepperoni pizza or other Kosher items masquerading as some prohibited non-Kosher food. There may be a way to season the right kind of chicken so that it tastes just like a lobster but those who are eating it would not have had the experience of torturing it first by tossing it on a hot barbecue or into a boiling pot.

Maybe our Rabbis would be better off ensuring that we are able to eat some healthy green vegetables – like broccoli, asparagus, spinach, collard greens and other wonderful food items that have recently been facing increasingly stringent rules (due to the existence of microscopic or almost microscopic bugs). Many vegetables are banned or hard to find in Israel – without any really compelling reason (as far as Jewish law is concerned), other than a relatively new found Rabbinical interest in an increased level of vigilance for avoiding the tiniest of insects, even those that are not normally visible to the naked eye.

Consider this crazy picture. The Kosher Indian restaurant at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem (that I reviewed in a previous post), which is supervised by the highest level of Kosher authorities in Israel, may soon be able to add Kosher simulated "pork" to its offerings but will still not be able to serve cauliflower and potatoes ("aloo ghobi"), a dish that is so essential to Indian cuisine - or a range of other vegetarian delicacies.

It seems to me that Israelis interested in eating healthy diets are really the ones getting goosed, yet again.

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