Main features of Jewish cuisine

Each national cuisine has its own characteristics. Jewish traditions are very interesting, so they are worth exploring.


If you study the traditions of Jewish cuisine, then you can note, perhaps, the most important of them - Kashrut. These are special ritual rules that characterize compliance with the requirements of the Jewish law of Halacha, based on the commandments of the Torah. All dishes of Jewish cuisine must correspond to Kashrut and are called kosher.

Basic requirements and prohibitions of Kashrut:

  • It is allowed to eat only the meat of animals that are cloven-hoofed and eat grass. These include goats, gazelles, cows, sheep. Banned pigs, damans, camels, giraffes, hares.
  • The bird is also allowed, with the exception of predatory, exotic and song-singing species, such as owls, canaries, pelicans, eagles. But you can cook ducks, pigeons, geese, quail, turkeys.
  • Eggs are included in the diet, but only carried by authorized birds.An indirect sign of kosher is the presence of different ends: one sharp and the other more blunt.
  • All kosher birds and animals are killed in a special way, the corresponding shehite - ritual slaughter, which involves minimal suffering, speed and humanity.
  • It is forbidden to consume the blood of birds and animals, since it is believed that it contains the very soul of dead creatures. In countries where Jews are the main population, you can find “lo mukshar” labels in food stores, which means that there is blood in the meat, and it must be removed before cooking. To do this, the piece is immersed in water and kept in it for several hours, and then placed on an inclined surface to remove all residual blood. Roasting is used to exsanguinate the liver.
  • It is strictly forbidden to eat any insects, so the Jewish housewives often and very carefully sift through all the cereals (bugs can be made in them) and inspect the berries and fruits before eating to extract the worms and their larvae. Greens can be immersed in a solution of salt or vinegar, after which it is washed well.
  • You can not combine meat products with dairy and sour milk, as well as combine them in one dish. After eating dairy food, you can eat meat one hour later. And if the meat dish was used first, then you will have to wait at least six hours.
  • Fish is considered a neutral product, not related to either milk or meat, which is called "parve". But some restrictions apply to it. Two signs are obligatory: the presence of scales and fins that can be easily separated from the skin. And so there are sturgeon, sharks, catfish, eels. Seafood does not have fins and scales, so are not kosher.
  • The parve category includes fruits, seafood, berries, and vegetables. And they can be safely combined with meat or milk (not at the same time). But if such food is in contact with fish or meat (contact may even be that the chef did not wash his hands or dishes after preparing another dish), then she will lose the status of "parve".
  • Products that contain artificial components and chemical additives are banned.
  • All kosher dishes should be prepared exclusively by Jews.
  • On Easter, it is forbidden to eat dishes in which there is a leaven.These include yeast bread, vinegar, beer.
  • Wine can be drunk, but if it was made according to all the rules, among which the age of grapes, a ban on any food additives.


Jewish cuisine has interesting features, and one of them is Shabbat. This is the seventh day of the week, Saturday, and according to the Torah, one should rest and refuse from any work. In addition, a meal is surely arranged at which two halites are present on the table, personifying the two standards of manna from heaven, which God allowed to collect before the Sabbath.

Halas are covered with napkins, and just before the start of the family meal, the head takes them off and makes a longitudinal incision on the bread. Then he puts his palms on the challah and says the words of blessing. Then a man makes a cut at the mark, takes a piece and eats it after dipping it in salt. Then the challah is divided and distributed to other family members.

After the ritual described above, the Sabbath meal itself begins, which, according to ancient traditions, should consist of various, tasty and colorful dishes, but they are certainly kosher. There are no strict rules, they are established in each community.But usually fish dishes are served first, and then meat dishes.

Main dishes

Every cuisine in the world has traditional dishes, and Jewish cuisine is no exception. First, it is worth listing their common features:

  1. Simple, but very long heat treatment, for example, prolonged cooking or quenching. As a result, all dishes are very soft. Baking is acceptable, but it is rarely used.
  2. Active use of spices. But their volumes and choices are limited, therefore it is allowed to add horseradish, black pepper, dill, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, garlic in moderate quantities.
  3. One product can be used to produce several dishes at once. Broth is prepared from chicken, pelts and offal go to the stuffed necks, and the leftover meat is the main course.
  4. Of course, everything on the table should be kosher.

First meal

Consider the famous dishes that include Jewish cuisine:

  • Various broths, for example, vegetable, chicken, meat. But if animal or bird fat is added to vegetable broth, it is considered to be meat. When adding butter, it becomes milky.
  • Sorrel soup.
  • Bean soup with the addition of potatoes.
  • Cold soup of dried fruit, which perfectly quenches thirst in the summer.

Second courses

From the second course you can try such as:

  1. Stuffed neck, made from chicken necks and stuffing, which may consist of by-products, vegetables, spices.
  2. Prakes - similar to stuffed cabbage, cooked in tomato sauce.
  3. Hot stuffed fish.
  4. Cholt consists of meat (usually fat) with vegetables. Feature of the dish is very long preparation.
  5. Esyk-fleish - stewed in prunes, tomatoes, honey, lemon juice with the addition of raisin beef.
  6. Kreplach - triangular shaped dumplings. Toppings can be different: meat, poultry, cheese and even dried fruits.
  7. Mafrum - potatoes stuffed with minced or minced meat.
  8. Cooked with eggplant chicken.
  9. Grime - fish with spicy sauce.
  10. Kugel - a kind of casserole. Ingredients - noodles, rice, potatoes, beets. The product is cooked, crushed, passaged, and then boiled with an egg.

Cold dishes, snacks

Tourists should try the following cold dishes and snacks:

  • Forshmak is made from herring, and earlier the dish was considered predominantly poor because it was made from low-quality fish that had been soaked.
  • Snack is cold served stuffed fish, which is traditionally used for the preparation of eggs. In addition, inexpensive species such as pike or carp are more suitable for stuffing.
  • Various pastes, which are usually prepared from goose liver or chicken.
  • Eggplant caviar
  • Falafel is a kind of meatballs or balls, among the ingredients of which are products like chickpeas (sometimes beans) and all sorts of permitted spices. Chickpeas are soaked or boiled, mashed, turned into balls, and they are then fried.
  • Finely chopped eggs connected with fat (goose or chicken) and onions.
  • Muhammar is a kind of mashed potatoes or pasta made from baked bell peppers with walnuts.
  • Hummus is one of the most famous snacks, and it is a chopped pre-boiled chickpea, complemented by lemon juice, Zira, sesame, garlic and olive oil.

Flour products

Popular Jewish flour products:

  • Hala is a festive bread, prepared from a dough. It is used on holidays and used as sacrifices.
  • Matza is the simplest cake made from water and flour.It replaces the bread and can be stored for a long time.
  • Knejdlah - made from crumbled matzo dumplings.
  • Khremslah and Macelatkés - pancakes from matzo turned into crumbs.
  • Sufganiet - having jam stuffed donuts.
  • Bagel - bagels, based on boiled, and then baked dough.

The traditions of Jewish cuisine are unusual and interesting. And some dishes you can try to cook at home.

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