Is That Kosher?

March 27, 2013: Kosher

With Passover in full swing, you should know about a trend that started with Jewish dietary needs, but doesn’t end there. Kosher food is becoming more varied, more creative and more flavorful. To put it plainly, this is not your Bubbe’s gefilte fish.

With the rise of artisanal, locally sourced, freshly prepared foods having elevated consumers’ taste standards, it’s no surprise that people who keep kosher are demanding better-tasting foods, too.  “Kosher food’s playing cultural catch-up,” says one source cited in a New York Daily News report on the trend.

Chefs are getting creative with kosher foods because, well, chefs like to get creative. Food manufacturers, too, are meeting the demand. The Huffington Post spotlighted some of the most surprising kosher foods displayed at Kosherfest last year, including kosher pho, kosher bacon and kosher Thai peanut dressing.

Orthodox Jews aren’t your only clientele (although the growing number of younger people turning to traditional Judaism is helping the trend). The New York Daily News points out that non-Jewish chefs and consumers are a big audience for these products, with Christians, Muslims, Jews and atheists alike choosing kosher foods because of perceived higher standards and higher quality. Depending on where you live and whether you sell food products online or in a brick-and-mortar store or restaurant, adding kosher items to the menu could bring in a lot of gelt.