Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shabbat Menus, Very Tricky Especially When "Milky"

Frum Satire has an excellent and very important post about the problems when people serve dairy milchik food for Shabbat lunch.

Here's the comment I sent in:
Heshy, this really is an important post.  In Shiloh, the real one here in the HolyLand, there are a few families that serve dairy Shabbat food.  Some are 100% vegetarians and are therefore excused, but others will eat fleishig.  At least the only flesh served at a kiddush here is herring.
It's the hidden meat or dairy which is the most dangerous for those who keep kosher, like the chicken "latkes" your wife ate or parve-looking veggies that are cooked with either butter or chicken soup.  They should be labeled clearly or banned.

To expand on the thought I brought up in the comment, there are too many foods that can have hidden ingredients which make them either meat or dairy, when they look parve.  Parve means that the dish contains neither meat or dairy, and in some cases it's important that it wasn't baked together with either.  In my kitchen I have specific pots and pans for parve  cooking.  Even though fish is considered parve, Ashkenaz rabbis forbid fish from being eaten or cooked with meat/poultry, and some Eidot Mizrach (North African) rabbis forbid fish and dairy to be eaten or cooked together.

In a community that serves fleishig, meat/poultry at their kiddush, it seems rather thoughtless to serve dairy at the meal which follows kiddush.  If the hosts are vegetarian, then they should really serve a nice parve meal.  It's rude to do otherwise.  It would also be nice to inform guests that the meal will be dairy and they should avoid eating meat/poultry, unless there are sufficient parve dishes on the menu.

And even more important, cooks (and those setting up events) must clearly label any food that can be problematic, like cake or cookies or vegetables or fish made with butter or cream.  The same goes for bourekas, blintzes, egg rolls etc that have meat or dairy.

Nowadays, there's more awareness of food labeling because of allergies, like dairy/lactose, peanuts, wheat/celiac etc.  We all have a right to know what exactly is in our food.


goyisherebbe said...

Our late minyan had a kiddush with fleishik cholent, but it was announced as such before serving. This was a celebration for a daughter who was born after the mother was in the hospital for two months. I am married to a vegetarian, but she hates kiddushes and hardly ever goes.

Batya said...

I find that a "good kiddush" is bad for the diet.

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Our shul puts out two pans clearly labelled - meat cholent and pareve cholent. They are on separate tables and so hopefully, there is minimal mingling. However, I admit that at times I have been lax in reminding my husband to intercept our guests before they partake of the (perhaps yummier) fleishik cholent. :-(

After years of trying to be "normal" frum, I've now reached a state where I actually try to do every other Shabbos lunch as dairy. It is a very common thing, and lets us enjoy some easy and delightful staples like blintzes, lasagna (as the blogger points out) and, of course, REAL ice cream. :-)

We do actually have lots of pareve stuff at our "dairy" meals in case guests do accidentally partake at the kiddush. Except a few weeks ago when all the desserts were dairy... whoops. :-o

Batya said...

We were just at a party after Shabbat at which guests were asked to bring side dishes, but the host forgot to say he was making meat. So, it was a real problem. They set up two tables but I have no doubt there were people who didn't realize the popcorn and one of the salads had cheese.

Ester said...

Hi Batya,
This post was included in the Shvat Kosher Cooking Carnival. Ask your readers to check it out –

Pragmatician said...

As most kiddushim here have to be supervised by a recognised catere or mashgiach I think I've never come across a both milchig and fleishg selection, tricky indeed.

Batya said...

Ester, thanks
Prag, the situation here is more that the kiddush is fleishig in a community in which there are people who eat milchig Shabbat meals in the morning.