Jewish food facts are something that some of us are very conscious of and some of us have very little idea. Obviously if you are a member of the Jewish community you are going to be well aware of the traditions and beliefs regarding the diet. If, however, you are not then you may have a sketchy idea of some of the facts but are perhaps unclear regarding the details.
Practising members of the Jewish religion will only eat meat which is kosher. This means that the animal will have be slaughtered by a ritual slaughterer. The meat must be drained of all blood before it can be eaten. To achieve this, it will be hung when it is slaughtered to drain much of the blood and then soaked in water before being sprinkled with salt and left to drain further. Jewish food facts state that meat and dairy can never be combined and you will sometimes find that orthodox Jews will go to the extent of having separate sides of their kitchen for meat and for dairy. Keeping two preparation areas and even separate utensils is the only way to ensure that this ruling is strictly adhered to. No dairy products will ever be used in meat or poultry dishes.
There are some animal products which are forbidden in the Jewish culture and one of the better know Jewish food facts is their strict banning of pork and shellfish from their diet. These are considered unclean and their meat must never be eaten, nor must any food which is a product from these animals. There are many rulings which state which is a clean animal and which is unclean. According to Leviticus and Deuteronomy, clean animals include ‘all quadrupeds that chew the cud and also divide the hoof’. They also mention individually the camel, rock-badger, hare and swine as being unclean. These are, however, not the only stipulations.
The rulings regarding the Jewish food facts are very detailed and also include the length of time that an infant may be suckled by its mother. In the Jewish Encyclopaedia it is possible to look at a very detailed listing of what is and what is not allowed. It is fascinating reading and includes some details regarding insects and fish, for example, which make the Jewish diet seem very complicated. It does give some reasoning behind the rulings and it is very interesting and far too complex to be able to cover in a short article.
Some of the other Jewish food facts which are more commonly known are those regarding unleavened bread. This is traditionally eaten during Passover and represents the bread that did not have time to rise when the Jewish people were leaving Egypt for the Promised Land. There are many similar rulings regarding Jewish food, all of which have come about from traditional beliefs, commandments and observation of laws. The actual foods eaten will vary from country to country but the fundamental laws will remain the same and are given tremendous respect and reverence by the Jewish community.