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Old 06-19-2011, 12:37 PM   #1
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What to offer Jewish guests?

I am cooking a dinner a party and there is a jewish couple attending. What dietry restictions do they have , what can and can't they eat ? There is a muslim meat shop nearby , was thinking about substituting their meat portions with halal meat .Is halal meat the same as kosher meat ?

Any pointes would be a great help.

Also what can they drink and not drink ? Is wine acceptable ? If not what other drink should i offer ?

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Old 06-19-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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First of all you need to ascertain their personal dietary restrictions. Basically, Jews are not permitted to eat the flesh of any animal with cloven hoof unless it chews a cuds. Shellfish, including shrimp, lobster and clams, are also prohibited. If they are strict, any allowed meat must be butchered and prepared according to the dietary laws of kashrut and certified by a rabbi. they also can not mix meat and dairy in the same meal. That means no cheeseburgers and if the pizza has cheese, no pepperoni. Anchovies, however, are allowed. If they are REALLY strict, all meat and dairy must be prepared in separate pots and pans and served on dishes that have never contained pork, shellfish, or a mix of meat and dairy. Halal is nowhere near kosher.

Halal means that the animal was killed in the name of Allah. Some Muslims insist that the animal be slaughtered by a Muslim, others by any people of the book (Muslim, Jew, Christian). The slaughtered animal must then be hung upside down so all the blood drains. Muslims have no seafood restrictions, and the only meat restrictions concern pork or other unclean animals. Gelatin made from pig skin or bones is also prohibited by Jewish and Muslim dietary laws.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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Just because they are Jewish does not mean they have any dietary restrictions. They only have restrictions if they keep kosher. Do you know if they keep kosher? Most Jews do not.

If they do keep kosher then that means they can not mix meat with dairy. No cheeseburgers. No serving milk as a beverage with anything meat. No cream sauces with pasta and meat. No shellfish. Getting meat from the halal shop should be ok I think. If I am not mistaken, halal is almost always kosher, but kosher does not mean it is always halal.

There are degrees of keeping kosher so it is very hard to say what is ok and what is not for someone. For instance, nothing that you make in your kitchen would technically be considered kosher as you have (I am assuming) mixed meat and dairy. People who keep kosher usually have two sets of dishes and cookware, one for meat and one for dairy. Some even have two ovens, fridges, and dishwashers. Most people who keep kosher just do the best they can when they are out and do not stress about it too much. Just the fact that you have been considerate enough to have given it any though will be enough for most people.

There are kosher wines and non-kosher wines, but again it depends on the individual how far they take it. Some people who keep kosher drink any wine they like while others only drink kosher wine.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:59 PM   #4
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Laws of kashrut are many and are very complicated. Halal meat is in no way a substitute for kosher. (Though it goes other way around) As far as your guests goes, I would assume (of course I could be wrong) they will eat whatever you will offer for everybody else, or they will not eat at all. Of course there could be a middle ground, i.e. they might eat a fish prepared in non-kosher oven, or in all honesty hundreds other ways they do or do not keep kosher. In all the truth I would ask them if they have any restriction in their diet. All we can do here is guess and that is just not going to be a right way to do it.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by acc2020 View Post
I am cooking a dinner a party and there is a jewish couple attending. What dietry restictions do they have , what can and can't they eat ? There is a muslim meat shop nearby , was thinking about substituting their meat portions with halal meat .Is halal meat the same as kosher meat ?

Any pointes would be a great help.

Also what can they drink and not drink ? Is wine acceptable ? If not what other drink should i offer ?
Ask them. They will appreciate your concern.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:04 PM   #6
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halala meat in no way is a substitude for kosher. (though it goes other way around)
I guess I had it backwards.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:09 PM   #7
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I have many Jewish friends that eat anything.
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:06 PM   #8
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Ask them. They will appreciate your concern.
That's what I would do in any instance where I was not sure of the dietary needs/wishes of a prospective dinner guest. I doubt that anyone would be offended, and far better to know and avoid embarrassment, yours or theirs, than to make a wrong guess.

Besides, they may have a new tasty recipe to share.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:16 AM   #9
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Actually, Jewish people who keep Kosher can have dairy and meat in the same meal. They just have to be in separate dishes/courses with the dairy-containing course ALWAYS coming FIRST. They cannot eat dairy after eating meat in the same meal as there still may be residual meat present in the teeth. Obviously, the dairy course is finished and removed from the table and plates are changed before the meat course is brought out.

A friend of mine's Dad still keeps strict Kosher. She doesn't anymore, even eats pork/shrimp/etc now and does get a bit exasperated with him from time to time, especially when he lived with them for a short time, so I get to hear a lot of venting.

And I second, third, whatever about asking them. My friend still considers herself Jewish but she eats what she wants.
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:03 AM   #10
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Actually, Jewish people who keep Kosher can have dairy and meat in the same meal. They just have to be in separate dishes/courses with the dairy-containing course ALWAYS coming FIRST. They cannot eat dairy after eating meat in the same meal as there still may be residual meat present in the teeth. Obviously, the dairy course is finished and removed from the table and plates are changed before the meat course is brought out.

A friend of mine's Dad still keeps strict Kosher. She doesn't anymore, even eats pork/shrimp/etc now and does get a bit exasperated with him from time to time, especially when he lived with them for a short time, so I get to hear a lot of venting.

And I second, third, whatever about asking them. My friend still considers herself Jewish but she eats what she wants.
I am not sure where you got that information about having meat and dairy in the same meal, but it is incorrect. There must be a 4 hour (I believe) wait between having one then the other. The order in which the are consumed does not matter.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:35 AM   #11
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The chances that they adhere to any dietary restrictions based on their religion are slim, to put it mildly. If they did, they would most likely let any hosts know that beforehand.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:56 AM   #12
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The chances that they adhere to any dietary restrictions based on their religion are slim, to put it mildly. If they did, they would most likely let any hosts know that beforehand.
You beat me to it, suzyQ! Truth to tell, super-religious Jews who keep strictly Kosher would not be likely to accept your invitation to dinner. But if they did, they would give you a list of their do's and dont's. the fact that they didn't means they probably will eat whatever you serve. However, if you want to be on the safe side, you could call and ask.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:00 AM   #13
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You beat me to it, suzyQ! Truth to tell, super-religious Jews who keep strictly Kosher would not be likely to accept your invitation to dinner. But if they did, they would give you a list of their do's and dont's. the fact that they didn't means they probably will eat whatever you serve. However, if you want to be on the safe side, you could call and ask.
Personally, I would not make that call. If I did, I would call everyone who is invited and simply ask if they have any food situation that should be noted. I would not mention religion at all.

But IMO, it is best just to go ahead and plan a menu that sounds appealing in general.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:03 AM   #14
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My sister-in-law's boyfriend keeps kosher. When he eats with us, we usually have a vegetarian option or serve fish.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:05 AM   #15
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The chances that they adhere to any dietary restrictions based on their religion are slim, to put it mildly. If they did, they would most likely let any hosts know that beforehand.
That was my thought on this whole thing.
What if you didn't know their religion, or didn't know if someone might be a recovering alcoholic and had planned on serving adult beverages? The fact that they accepted without restrictions is good enough for me to plan on something that would appeal to most people's tastes.
Who knows, maybe they will show up with their own dish to eat if they are of the strict variety.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:10 PM   #16
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Seems to me that the last few posts in this thread only prove the point. If you have guests coming who may or may not have specific dietary needs, give a call and ask. I don't think you would offend anybody.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:16 PM   #17
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Seems to me that the last few posts in this thread only prove the point. If you have guests coming who may or may not have specific dietary needs, give a call and ask. I don't think you would offend anybody.
I totally agree. There is no reason to question a members religious preferences or the veracity of their statements in this regard. We each have our own value sets and here on this forum we can be tolerant of these differences. To that end several posts have been removed from this thread. Please be kind to each other.

Since the original question seems to be answered, this thread is closed.

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