Kosher -

Is primarily meat from an animal or bird that has been killed by a Shohet, an expert meat inspector, under the laws of the Jewish Talmud.

A strictly Kosher butcher must buy all his stock alive, the animals being generally killed in the slaughtering house by a Shohet. Great care is taken to avoid exciting the animal to be killed, for its death must be as calm, speedy and sudden as possible. Bullocks, calves, sheep, etc., are killed by cutting their throats with a special knife, the blade of which is about twenty inches long and two inches wide and is kept as sharp and highly polished as a razor. The cut almost severs the head from the body and the carcass is allowed to bleed as freely and as long as it will - the object being to clear the flesh of blood as completely as possible, the consumption of blood being forbidden by the Jewish law. Chickens, geese, etc., are decapitated with a similar knife and are allowed to bleed in the same manner.

When the bleeding has ceased, the carcass is opened and a most minute examination of the lungs, entrails, etc., is made. The slightest defect will result in the shohet condemning the entire animal as Tref (Terefah, Treife) - unfit for food.

If the animal is pronounced Kosher, the meat undergoes the next operation of Porging - the removal of all bloody veins and gristle. Because this operation involves a great deal of labor if applied to the hindquarters of bullocks and sheep, that part of the animal is in this country generally classed as Tref, even when the carcass in general is Kosher, and is sold to Gentile butchers. The hindquarters of calves and lambs are retained and treated like the remainder of the carcass. The Porging is properly followed by applying salt to complete the extraction of the blood.

It is because of these special precautions that Kosher meat ordinarily commands prices higher than the average of the retail markets.

Kosher Corned Beef is Kosher Beef prepared by, first, a thorough soaking in fresh water, next bedding for some time in dry salt and then a second washing before immersion in the brine, where it must remain for twenty-four hours.

All fresh fish of the scaly varieties may be eaten without the intervention of the Shohet, but the ordinary salt and dried fish of commerce come under the ban, because of the possibility that some matter not Kosher may have been employed in preparing them.

Swine, hare, frogs, snails, fish without scales or fins, as eels, etc., are among modern foods which come under the classification of Tref.

The refusal of all meat that is not Kosher is a matter of religious principle with the orthodox Hebrew, but the practical advantage is that the careful personal inspection by the Shohet guarantees him flesh in absolutely healthy condition, his religious law thus protecting him against the many diseases liable to result from the consumption of the flesh of unhealthy animals.

As applied to other foods, as "Kosher Bread," "Kosher Butter," etc., the term signifies special care and cleanliness in preparation and manufacture. The vessels and utensils used in handling them must never be allowed to serve for any other purpose and should be cleansed and inspected with great exactness.

Arround Kosher in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

Kosher Sausage

The Grocer's Encyclopedia
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