1. For starters, people have no idea what “keeping kosher” actually means.
In simple terms, you can’t mix meat and dairy, you can’t eat anything from a pig (yes, that includes bacon), and you can’t eat any shellfish. There are some acceptable fish — any fish with both fins and scales. Eggs are OK and can be eaten with meat or dairy. Also, after eating meat or dairy, you have to wait a certain amount of time, depending on where your ancestors are from, before you can eat the other category. Any questions?
3. After that whole explanation, people assume that you’re super-religious.
Well, I’m not. I use electricity on Saturdays. My male family members don’t have “those weird curly sideburns.” I didn’t even attend a Jewish day school as a child.
4. And they think keeping kosher isn’t as “cool” as other diets.
When people act like it’s a second-class diet compared to eating vegan or gluten-free, I’m like…
5. But despite your best efforts, people can’t grasp the concept, especially waiters.
For some reason, it’s impossible to explain the very basic rules of keeping kosher to a waiter. Ordering a Cobb salad can take 10 minutes because you need to hold the bacon, decide if you want turkey or cheese (you can’t have both), and change the dressing if you stick with the turkey. No big deal.
But at this point the waiter is either is too confused or doesn’t care and will most likely bring out your order completely wrong.
6. And restaurants always serve you a cheeseburger instead of a hamburger.
Regardless of how hard I try, every time I order a PLAIN hamburger, it arrives with melted cheese all over it.
ALERT: A hamburger isn’t supposed to have cheese on it. That’s why they created an entirely different name for burgers with cheese.
7. Or they refuse to cook your meat in oil instead of butter.
Most kosher meals cannot have butter, so it makes eating all the more difficult when restaurants (and everyone else) secretly put butter in everything.
In the end, I usually just lie about having a butter allergy.
8. And you always have to ask the world’s most detailed questions about food.
Asking “What’s the base of this soup made of?” makes you sound a little OCD. But knowing if that liquid is vegetable or chicken stock can make or break a meal.
In my family, you have to wait an hour after eating meat before you can have dairy. So that makes the whole dessert situation very complicated: If you want dessert that has any dairy in it, you have to make sure nothing in your meal is meat (and awkwardly ask for the dessert menu before the waiter can tell you the specials). I have, in fact, sat around for a full hour after I finished my entree because I just had to have dessert.
Kosher law requires you to have separate plates and dishwashers for your milk meals and your meat meals so that the two never, ever cross. This is not cheap or space-efficient, and it makes you feel like you have double vision.
Also, if you ever mess up and put meat on a dairy plate or vice versa, you have to bury the plate in the earth for eight years. We did this once at my old house and moved three years later. We couldn’t take the plate with us.
11. And kosher meat is always double the price of regular meat.
Seriously, this diet is so expensive.
12. Furthermore, when you try to adjust a recipe to be kosher-friendly, it doesn’t quite work.
Apparently there’s no way to make a dairy-free cake taste decent.
13. Traveling, which is supposed to be relaxing, is always stressful because you’re starving the entire time.
Cruises always have amazing buffets. Unfortunately, the only kosher item is usually the bread basket. Most trips, I just pack granola bars in my suitcase.
Office catering? Event buffet? Just turn around and go back to your seat.
Sometimes you can’t even eat kosher Jewish food ordered to your office. One time, a batch of hamantaschen arrived at the office right after I finished eating chicken noodle soup. By the time the hour had passed, everyone in the office had devoured the dessert. True story.
15. The most annoying thing of all: all the amazing-looking food that isn’t kosher.
Yes, I think this food looks delicious and it’s THE WORST that I can’t eat it.
16. In fact, not being able to eat bacon is enough for most people to question why you do this diet at all.
Bacon is pig, and pig is the treifest of treif (non-kosher). But people are in love with bacon. And people LOVE to feel dramatically terrible for you when they hear you can’t eat bacon. The pitying looks are almost as bad as sitting and watching someone eat a BLT.
BUT! Here’s a little good news: lots of packaged goodies are actually kosher.
And some surprising chip flavors.
Artificial bacon ranch flavoring: It’s a mitzvah.
And most sugary candy.
They may be terrible for you, but they fit the guidelines!
This post is specific to how I keep kosher and is not as strict as the practice of some orthodox Jews who, for instance, only eat meat slaughtered under Rabbinic supervision. There are many different levels based on how observant you are.
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- davidc94 thinks The 16 Most Annoying Things About Kee... is Fail
I don’t care what you choose to keep or not keep, but make no mistake it IS your choice and whining about it is pathetic. It is bewildering and tiresome that a person who is entirely in control of their food would impose these limited choices on themselves and then complain about it. Shut up and reap your huge rewards from your god. That will show everyone.
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- 2bee The 16 Most Annoying Things About Kee...
I’m sure every single one of you keeps 100% Kosher all the time, and I’m positive you’re all keeping Shabbat 100% of the time right? Otherwise, you might as well write off G-d altogether, because clearly you can’t keep your stuff straight. Seriously everyone? Cut her some slack.
- Campbell77 The 16 Most Annoying Things About Kee...
If anything, this article proves that Conservative/Reform “modifications” to the laws of keeping kosher make things utterly ridiculous and nonsensical. Case in point: My wife makes plenty of delicious cakes and desserts that contain no dairy whatsoever. In addition, it is most obvious that going to a non-kosher restaurant and attempting to eat kosher cuisine is going to be near-impossible due to the combination of the staff’s lack of education about kashrut as well as the myriad of issues related to a non-kosher restaurant to begin with (as many of commented). Just go to a KOSHER restaurant, assuming there are any where you live, and problem solved. Plus, burying a dish for 8 years in the ground? Where does that stringency come from, and it definitely does not jive with the other practices advocated or discussed here whatsoever. While I can admire the author’s attempt to adhere to her self-defined level of kashrut, I think she’s making mountains out of molehills and creating her own issues/conflicts where none really exist in the more traditionally observant community. Aside from the increased cost of most “heimish” brands of food items, and the wait period between meat and dairy - unless the dairy is aged cheese, the wait time for meat after dairy is quite minimal - and having 2 sets of dishes, keeping kosher in America, especially in large cities with significant Jewish populations - is not incredibly difficult.
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As someone with Celiac, I can’t help being mildly offended seeing gluten free lumped in with vegan and kosher diets. I don’t eat wheat because I am physically allergic, not because I choose not to (or, rather, I choose not to eat wheat because I enjoy not being in intense pain). Leave us out of this!
- anya3 The 16 Most Annoying Things About Kee...
Wow so much hate! I found it interesting. Wasn’t gonna comment but saw how many assholes were being cruel and felt I had to! Good on you for sticking to your beliefs. My husband is vegetarian and that’s hard enough. Once ordered a mushroom carbonara with mushroom not bacon (it was on the menu) and he repeated it to us as ’ veggie carbonara’ then it came out… With bacon.
pig is not actually the “least kosher animal”, the reason it is used as the prime example as a non-kosher animal is because it is deceiving from the outside. a kosher animal chews its cud, and has split hooves. the pig has the outside quality (the hooves) but it does not chew it’s cud. that’s why it’s spoken about the most
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i don’t want to piss anyone off, but i feel all that time, money and effort invested in mastering religious rules could be invested in being a good person (which is for me what religion is about). most religious diet rules were invented to keep diseases out of the community anyway…
- jennifernathanm The 16 Most Annoying Things About Kee...
yeah, i’m jewish and don’t keep kosher, and you saying you “can’t” eat those things, is not true. you choose not to. because of your beliefs. so no, i’m not going to feel bad you don’t eat bacon. the beauty of judaism (especially when you don’t observe everything, which you yourself admit to), is that you can have your bacon, and eat it too.
The comment about the hamburger doesn’t make sense. My husband is allergic to cheese, and even though he rarely eats burgers, if we order a plain burger, that’s what we always get - a plain burger. Not sure how ordering a plain burger results in a cheeseburger unless the author places their order in a confusing manner.
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I’m a Halal-eater and trust me, yes it’s hard but with all the cultural diversity in the cities, it’s not difficult to find places to eat. Also, any type of seafood is allowed so you always have some dine option. Yeah Pork is strictly forbidden, Boo-hoo cry me a river fatty.
sup, halal-keeper here. I feel your pain, although our rules are much easier to keep track of and/or explain (but please don’t make me). Kosher food is dope, though, and y’all get to drink too (how was your Purim?! º.o) Anyway, I need to find me a seder to attend this year.
This is what I don’t get - if you are THAT kosher you don’t eat out at restaurants anyway, because your food will have been made in pans that have had bacon in them, on surfaces that have had bacon on them etc. You’re eating non-kosher meat so to follow all these rules is stupid in itself. My cousin has had friends come over with their own milk because they can only have certain kinds. What you’re doing is ridiculous because you are selectively choosing which bits you want to observe. It’s too hard for you to not eat out in restaurants, so you go and then you mess around with waiters and kitchens. That’s not cool. Like the Cobb salad thing - don’t order one! It’s not a Cobb salad if it doesn’t have bacon, turkey and cheese in it. Order another salad. Why do Americans feel that ‘i want it the way i want it’ entitlement all the time? Order an item on the menu and have done with it. You’re a dick if you change stuff, the menu and the dish have been designed a certain way. Throw that shit outside the US, with your substitutions and wanting this instead of that, and your food is getting spat in, I promise you. As for the American Jews obsession with pig, this I don’t get. Why do American Jews love ham so very much? British Jews never touch it, except people who don’t care about any of it at all. When I was a carnivore I never gave a toss about this nonsense (I’m now an accidentally kosher vegetarian) - because god, if he or she even exists, does not give a shit about how and what you eat. Be a good person. Stop worrying about this nonsense.
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I won’t repeat what a lot of other people have said, however I will add a couple of things. 1) You almost definitely could have eaten the hamantaschen, because almost all the store-bought ones (and actually most of the home-made ones) are pareve. 2) Our community has a kosher bakery that is 100% pareve. They make cakes (including wedding cakes), cookies, doughnuts, pies, breads, and pretty much anything else you’d find at a bakery, all with no dairy products whatsoever. And here’s the thing: 95% of their clientele is not Jewish. It’s the best bakery in town. So please don’t say that “There’s no way to make a dairy-free cake taste decent.” http://www.rinaldosbakeshoppe.com/ Everything you see there is dairy-free, and I guarantee you it’s delicious!