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Jewish Recipes --> Recipes --> Dairy
All questions of Kosher and Kashrut must be directed to a reliable Rabbi

Dairy

Milk and milk-derived products derived from kosher animals are always kosher. All milk from cows, goats, and sheep is kosher.


Kosher Labels: Dairy - Meat Parve

In the past, when milk from cows was more expensive, adulteration with camel milk or horse milk was a serious issue; today this is not considered a practical concern in the USA or in most western countries.

As such, most Modern Orthodox rabbis and all Conservative rabbis hold that FDA supervision is sufficient for milk and dairy products to be considered automatically kosher. However, where it is available, many Orthodox Jews feel it is incumbent upon them to eliminate all doubt by using only "Cholov Yisroel" (חלב ישראל) milk and dairy products; this label means that the milk has been under constant rabbinical supervision from milking to bottling, to make sure that it is not admixed with the milk of a non-kosher animal.

Also See: On Shavuot it is a customary to eat Dairy dishes and Blintz

Cheese:

Cheese is, of course, considered a dairy product. Hard cheeses, however, are made from milk and rennet, an animal product, and the kashrut of such cheeses is a matter of debate in the religious Jewish community.

Rennet is the enzyme used to turn milk into curds and whey; most forms of rennet derive from the lining of the stomach of an animal. Kosher rennet may be made from the stomachs of kosher animals slaughtered in conformance with the laws of kashrut, or may be made from vegetable or microbial sources. The Mishna and Talmud (in Avodah Zarah and Hullin) state that cheese made with rennet derived from a non-kosher animal is non-kosher. Orthodox authorities follow this ruling, and hold that rennet is a "d'var ha'ma'amid" (דבר המעמיד), something that changes the status of the food so much that any amount makes the food it is added to non-kosher. Conservative authorities classify rennet as something that has changed so much from its original form that it is a "d'var chadash" (דבר חדש), "something new", and thus is no longer un-kosher. In practice Orthodox and some Conservative Jews eat only cheese made with kosher rennet, while other Conservative Jews follow the Conservative ruling and eat any hard cheese.

No mixing of meat and dairy

Milk products and meat products may not be eaten together in the same meal, much less cooked together. Jewish law thus mandates a set of 'fence' laws that prevent this from happening; cooking meat and milk together is prohibited, even if it is not eaten, eating milk and meat together is prohibited even if they are not cooked together, and no benefit can be attained from such activity; for instance, one cannot even serve meat and milk together to an animal. Note that in most current forms of Judaism (but not among all Karaites, Ethiopian Jews and some Persian Jewish communities), this even applies to the flesh of birds, not just mammals. Most observant Jewish homes maintain two sets of silverware, cookware, cups, and dishes. One is for milk (Yiddish milchig, Hebrew halavi) dishes, and one is for meat (Yiddish fleishig or fleishedik, Hebrew basari) dishes. This prevents any trace of meat or dairy from being accidentally mixed. (Foods that contain neither milk nor meat are considered "neutral" -- Yiddish pareve, modern Hebrew parve.)

Jewish law considers glass (and some say Pyrex) to be non-absorbent; thus, one could use just a single set of glass plates and dishes. In practice, this is rarely done amongst Ashkenazi Jews not only because of the cost, but also because it is held that it would weaken the traditional system of kashrut observance. However, it is common within most religiously observant households to allow drinking glasses to be used for both dairy and meat meals, as long as they are thoroughly washed. Amongst Sephardim, glass dishes are often used for both milk and meat including for hot food.

Three distinct customs are observed regarding how long it is necessary to wait after eating meat before eating dairy foods again; most Litvak / Orthodox communities wait six hours, but many Jews wait only one to three hours, and Dutch Jews only One hour.

All questions of Kosher and Kashrut must be directed to a reliable Rabbi

 

Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods