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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 26 May 2017 04:53 PM and ends Sat 27 May 2017 05:52 PM
ב' אדר ה' אלפים תשס"ט
(from Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick)
In view of the shortage of Kosher pareve baby formula, we wish to announce that based on correspondence with overseas Kashrus authorities and the manufacturer, Kosher Australia has assessed S-26 Soy Infant formula (made in Ireland) as being acceptable as Kosher Pareve.
Warning: All other varieties of S-26 are NOT acceptable.
Last week's Australian Jewish News (24/2/09) led with a story about the blowout in the cost of Kosher food (‘Cost blow-out for kosher food’). The article interviewed a Kosher food distributor and the main Kosher caterer in Sydney who acknowledged that the cost of imported Kosher food would rise on the back of increased worldwide food prices and the weaker Australian dollar.
The conclusion that could be drawn from this article is that keeping Kosher would be made more difficult as the majority of food is imported. Putting aside the Sydney-centric nature of the article, I would challenge its premise. The underlying assumption that Kosher compliance is dependent on imports is false. With few exceptions – primarily Pesach related – one can keep Kosher without purchasing imported products.
Consider the typical Kosher home – the staples are meat, bread, fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice, juice, sauces, dried fruits, nush, milk, soup mix – all of these are produced locally.
As we have discussed in an earlier column, the true premium on Kosher meat when compared to non-Kosher is relatively small, when comparing apples and apples. Kosher meat is premium always.
Many Kosher products are also mainstream local brands such as Golden Circle, SPC
Ardmona, Mars, Sunbeam, Kellogg’s, Massel, Sunrice, Vitasoy, Uncle Tobys, Yumi’s, Tassal, Greenseas – just to name a few.
The efforts of the Kosher authorities in Melbourne and Sydney focus on this very issue – bringing down the cost of keeping Kosher through encouraging local companies to undertake Kosher certification or Kosher approval.
It is a pity that some Kosher retailers have developed a product mix that seems to focus on imported items when supporting local manufacturers would bolster local Kosher producers.
It is also a pity that the AJN used the increase in the costs of imports to engage in ‘Kosher-mongering’.
Sushi is becoming increasingly popular among Kosher consumers.
There are essentially five types of sushi:
_ Nigiri-sushi are bundles of rice, topped with wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and fish. Once served, nigiri should be taken by the fingers and dipped fish-side only into soy sauce.
_ Sashimi is simply raw fish, sliced thinly, served without rice. Sashimi can consist of salmon or other fresh seafood.
_ Chirashi-sushi is prepared in a bowl, with several different kinds of fish and vegetables mixed in with rice. It can almost be described as a sushi salad.
_ Oshizushi literally means “pressed sushi”. It is made by layering the ingredients on top of rice in a wooden mould, known as an Oshizushi-Bako.
_ Maki-zushi is rice and seafood, rolled up in nori seaweed. This is the most popular variety of sushi around.
As you can see, there are quite a few Kosher ‘challenges’ primarily with the fish used (not all canned tuna is acceptable, filleted fish requires supervision as skin off, most fish aside from salmon are indistinguishable), the nori sheets (nori is subject to infestation and therefore requires a hechsher) and the cooking of the rice (subject to bishul akum). Some recipes call for the use of rice vinegar in the sushi rice preparation.
We have had many requests where consumers can obtain their Sushi from for Shabbat.
Klein’s Gourmet prepares fresh sushi under Kosher Australia supervision each week available from their Glen Eira Rd shop on (03) 9528-1200.