Thursday, August 13, 2020

California Gourmet’s Chocolate Chips Garner Rave Reviews

Last year, after many months of a chocolate chip cookie famine caused by the Trader Joe’s brand of chocolate chips changing its kosher designation to dairy, a product appeared in Teaneck’s Cedar Market as an end to all our troubles. At first, these 45% cacao chocolate chips came in a red bag, and shocked us with their deep, dark, Belgian deliciousness. Then, a 48% product arrived, just in time for Pesach; this time, in a blue bag.

California Gourmet’s vegan chocolate chips, which are certified kosher pareve by the O-K, in both 45% and 48% cacao, are now available in 100 stores nationwide. They are nut free and soy free. Positive reviews on the chips have been written by the Kitchen Tested kosher blog, and kosher foodie Levana Kirschenbaum. California Gourmet is actively seeking more stores to carry their product. Learn more at californiagourmet.net.


New Product: Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

(Traderjoes.com) Pondering pancakes, but eating a gluten free diet? Wishing for waffles, yet unsure how to fulfill your desire without a gluten inclusion? These food cravings would create challenges—if not for Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix. Yes, at the very least, it will allow you to once again enjoy fluffy pancakes and tender crisp waffles.

All you need for a batch (besides 3⁄4 cup of this mix) is 1 egg, 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp of water, and 2 tbsp of melted butter. Simply whisk together the egg, water, and butter until blended. Then, slowly add in our Gluten Free Mix, whisking until smooth and thick.

Once you apply a little cooking spray to your pre-heated pancake griddle or waffle iron, you can be certain that a hearty gluten free breakfast is in your near future. (If you’re fancy and you want crêpes, simply add a little more water to the batter and you’ll be prêt à aller!) Like most battered breakfast items, these pair well with a spoonful of your favorite preserves, a drizzle of honey, or puddle of maple syrup. And to be sure, dessert is only a scoop of ice cream away! The eighteen-ounce package of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix makes about twelve, four-inch pancakes (or half as many waffles), and it’s just $3.99. Certified O-U Dairy.

Seaweed That Tastes Like Bacon Is Reminiscent of Talmudic Teaching

(JNi.media) This month, Oregon State University has announced that its researchers have discovered seaweed that tastes like bacon. It’s a new strain of a “succulent red marine algae” that goes by the name of dulse (Palmaria palmata, also called dillisk or dilsk, red dulse, sea lettuce flakes, or creathnach), which grows extremely fast, is full of protein and when it’s cooked, it tastes like bacon.

Kosher bacon, here we go.

The Talmud (Chulin 109b) cites a discussion between Rav Nachman and his wife, Yalta, in which the latter says that the brain of a certain carp tastes like pig’s meat. Indeed, in several places the Talmud asserts that for every non-kosher food there exists a kosher alternative that tastes just like it.

According to OSU, dulse grows in the wild along the ocean coastlines, and is sold for as much as $90 a pound dry, as a nutritional supplement. Now researcher Chris Langdon and his colleagues at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center have created and patented a strain of dulse that looks like “translucent red lettuce,” and is an excellent source of protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

At one point, Chuck Toombs, a faculty member in OSU’s College of Business, stopped by Langdon’s office and saw the dulse growing in bubbling containers. He could tell a buried treasure when he saw it.

“Dulse is a super-food, with twice the nutritional value of kale,” Toombs said. “And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon.”

Several Portland-area chefs are now testing the dulse as a fresh product in raw and cooked form, as well as a food ingredient.

Let’s hope they’ll alert the kosher chefs, too.

OU Approved Parmigiano Reggiano Is a No-Go

Recent media reports stated that there is a new Parmigiano Reggiano cheese made with kosher animal rennet which will be recognized as kosher by the Orthodox Union.

These reports are inaccurate. The Orthodox Union reviewed the kosher status of animal rennet and determined that currently there is no animal rennet that meets OU kosher standards for the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses made with animal rennet are, therefore, NOT considered kosher by the OU.

Kosherfest Registration Opens

Scheduled for November 10 and 11 in Secaucus, Kosherfest is the world’s largest and most attended kosher-certified products trade show. From chain supermarkets to corner groceries, food service establishments to caterers, every kind of kosher decision maker will find opportunity and inspiration at Kosherfest. More than 6,000 industry professionals are expected to attend, and more than 325 exhibitors will feature kosher-certified products and services for the kosher market. Learn more or sign up at kosherfest.com.

BBQ Materials and Kosher Supervision

In honor of the BBQ season, cRc Kosher recently answered some questions regarding the kashrus of products used to grill or barbeque food. Charcoal briquettes contain a wood byproduct (among other ingredients), and the other items listed in the question are essentially 100% wood. The flavor of the food cooked with these items is impacted by the type of wood used, and the manufacturers highlight this by identifying the source of the wood. Thus, the names “mesquite briquettes,” “apple chips,” and “alder pellets” refer to items made from the wood of mesquite, apple or alder trees.

In general, these items are made from pure wood (or in the case of briquettes, wood mixed with ingredients that are not kosher-sensitive) and do not require hashgacha. The only exceptions are if the wood is pretreated, coated, soaked in wine, produced from barrels which previously held wine, or are labeled as containing some other kosher-sensitive ingredients.