What Makes a Dish Kosher? Everything You Need to Know

Though many people are familiar with the idea of what a Kosher diet is, very few fully understand what makes a dish Kosher. If you have a guest who requires a Kosher meal coming to your wedding or special event, learning about the special processes that ingredients undergo to become Kosher-certified can help you feel more confident in accommodating your friends and family members of the Jewish faith.

The word “Kosher” comes from the Hebrew word “kasher,” meaning “pure,” and describes foods and dishes that are approved for consumption by those who follow the Orthodox Jewish faith. In order to become Kosher-certified, meat and animal products must undergo a strict set of preparation rules that align with directions written in the Torah.

According to the laws of the Torah, the only meat that should be eaten are animals that both have “cloven hooves” and who “chew the cud;” examples of animals in this category include cows, sheep, lambs, and goats. Pigs do not “chew the cud,” and thus pork dishes are not considered Kosher. Kosher species of fish must have “fins and scales,” meaning that shellfish and lobster are not considered Kosher. There are also a number of forbidden species of birds that cannot be consumed under the Kosher diet, but they are not typically eaten in Western cultures—some examples of non-Kosher birds include eagles, owls, pelicans, and swans. Duck, chicken, and turkey are all considered Kosher species of birds.

Jewish law dictates that an animal to be eaten must be slaughtered by a “Schochet,” or “ritual slaughterer.” The slaughtering must be done in a way that causes no pain to the animal. After the animal has been slaughtered, the preparers remove certain fats and veins that are not allowed to be consumed, and the blood is drained from the meat. Butchers selling Kosher products must have their processes approved by a Rabbi, and the products must not contain any non-Kosher additives like whey.

Understanding the dietary restrictions of your guests is crucial to ensuring that everyone feels included and considered during the fun. Booking a venue or Northeast Philadelphia wedding hall that can cater to those eating a Kosher diet like Village Catering can help give you peace of mind on the day of your event. To learn more about the Kosher diet or to book one of our reception halls in Bucks County, PA, give our team a call today at 215-437-3337.