[Sca-cooks] "Glatt Kosher" and "Ashkanzic Kosher"?
Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Aug 1 16:33:14 PDT 2008
On Aug 1, 2008, at 6:48 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:
> We've discussed Jewish and other religious food restrictions here
> before, but I thought Kosher was Kosher.
Yes and no. At the risk of incurring angry disagreement from someone
better versed in this than I, the short version is, observant Jews
maintain a standard based on somebody or other's interpretation of the
rules. Of course, interpretations differ, and what you end up with are
varying degrees of liberal versus conservative interpretations. In
practice, this can be discussed as the difference between liberal and
conservative interpretations, but also is sometimes interpreted,
depending on which side of the line you fall on, as either, "I keep
Kosher but he/she is a fanatic," if the speaker is somewhat liberal,
and, "I keep Kosher but he/she does not," if the speaker is more
conservative. So, as I said earlier, yes and no.
> So what's with this "Glatt Kosher" and "Ashkanzic Kosher" and
> perhaps others?
The two terms aren't opposite, similar, different, per se, mutually
inclusive nor exclusive. They just happened to appear close to each
other in my post.
"Glatt" is a [Yiddish?] term meaning "smooth," used in reference to an
examination of the lungs of slaughtered animals. Animals with smooth
or unblemished lungs are acceptable for the Glatt Kosher standard.
Some animals might not meet that standard, but either because the
lungs aren't checked as closely, or because a blemish or two can be
overlooked, or for whatever other reason, they may still be accepted
as Kosher (or maybe certain cuts of them can be, I'm not sure) by some
authorities. It may be akin to being USDA approved Prime, Choice,
Good, etc. In the U.S. government's system of standards, there are
many variations on approval before you get to meat that is not
actually approved in some form.
> I seem to remember that Ashkanzic Jews were those who migrated
> through eastern Europe? and others, Sepharic? Jews across Africa and
> up through Spain,
Yes, more or less.
> but I hadn't realized that the food restrictions were different
I'm pretty sure they are, to some extent. For example, I seem to
recall there being much discussion on whether seeds that aren't grains
are or are not (like various spices, nuts and legumes) acceptable for
Passover use, with much divergence of opinion largely falling on the
lines between Ashkanazic and Sephardic Jews.
My reference to Ashkanazic Kosher was not to a type of Kashrut
described by linked adjectives; it was just using two adjectives;
maybe I should have stuck a comma in between them. Kosher food in the
style of Ashkanazic Jews, such as is often found in Kosher
delicatessens. Steamed pastrami on rye, stuffed cabbage, stuffed
peppers, braised brisket or flanken, stuffed derma or kishkas, all
On the Sephardic side, we've got, among other things, couscous and
tagine-type dishes, lots of stuff fried in olive oil (in fact, it has
been alleged that Jews brought deep-fried fish to England, where they
would later pair it with chips), and a generally lighter touch with
vegetables (which, given the respective climates from which Ashkanazic
and Sephardic Jews have spent so long living in, isn't so surprising).
> and hadn't heard of this "Glatt Kosher" before now.
It's more of a concern for the stricter forms of observance, I
suspect. I doubt Kinky Friedman worries about it too much ;-).
> An article in today's Austin paper did mention an increasing Jewish
> community here in Austin, but I haven't had a lot of direct
I think everybody on earth was basically put there for someone else to
learn something useful from, and the more important issue [than a lack
of direct experience] is that it's never too late to start.
"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's
-- Rabbi Israel Salanter
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