Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Does This Sound Kosher To You?

This is a so-so "kosher" story.

See this?

It's called "kosher salt" and that's because, in the old days, okay, when I was younger in the 1950s, my mother, along with all Jewish housewives who kept kosher at home, would kasher the meat/chickens we purchased as the slaughterhouse and it needed to be liberally sprinkled with salt.

The salt needed to do a good job was the coarse salt, with large particles.

That's all. (Here for all the details) and here is a simple explanation:

How does kosher salt differ from table salt? With its large flakes and coarse crystals, kosher salt was originally intended for use by cooks who were maintaining a kosher kitchen, especially when preparing meats. Today, however, more and more professional and home chefs are using kosher salt for everyday cooking. In contrast, ordinary table salt consists of cube-shaped crystals that resemble granulated sugar, and it is generally iodized.

But some people don't quite grasp the ritual aspect of it.

Like this fellow:

Christian salt seller hopes to shake up market

You've heard of kosher salt? Now there's a Christian variety.

Retired barber Joe Godlewski says he was inspired by television chefs who repeatedly recommended kosher salt in recipes.

"I said, 'What the heck's the matter with Christian salt?'" Godlewski said, sipping a beer in the living room of his home in unincorporated Cresaptown, a western Maryland mountain community.

By next week, his trademarked Blessed Christians Salt will be available at the Web site of Memphis, Tenn.-based seasonings manufacturer Ingredients Corporation of America.

It's sea salt that's been blessed by an Episcopal priest...

Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, kosher administrator for the Chicago Rabbinical Council, said marketing Christian salt as an alternative to kosher salt reflects, at best, ignorance about Jewish dietary laws. He said all salt is inherently kosher because it occurs naturally and requires little or no processing...He said coarse-grained kosher salt is named for the way in which it was traditionally used - to draw blood from freshly butchered meat, because Jewish law prohibits consuming blood. Chefs often favor kosher salt because it's crunchy and easy to pinch...

...If the salt takes off, Godlewski plans an entire line of Christian-branded foods, including rye bread, bagels and pickles.

Food industry consultant Richard Hohman, of Tampa, Fla., said Christian branding is a clever idea that could do well in the Bible Belt.

But Christine Johnson, managing editor of the trade journal Christian Retailing in Lake Mary, Fla., said marketing channels are limited. Although Christian scripture candy and Christian fortune cookies have won shelf space in some Christian bookstores, "there's a very, very small market for Christian-type foods," she said.

...Rabbi Fishbane said he doesn't blame Godlewski for seizing a business opportunity, even one that plays on public misconceptions about kosher products.

However, "if it comes from a lack of knowledge on his end or, even worse, anti-Semitism, then I have an issue with that," Fishbane said. "I can't see anything good coming out of something like that."

Godlewski makes his aim clear: "There's no anti-Semitism. I love Jesus Christ and he was a Jew."

Yes, we know. Mel Gibson taught us that.

(Kippah tip)

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