Check out this awesome video taken from last year’s Jewlicious Festival, featuring Rachael Bookstein from JConnectLA teaching participants about kosher kitchens!
By Talia Davis
One of my biggest challenges as a person who keeps kosher is finding kosher candy. Seriously! It’s not something you think about. I mean, what are the chances that your chocolate candy bar has bacon in it or cheese and turkey? Okay… I guess I can’t really say that anymore because people are making bacon candy bars… (couldn’t they have found a better picture of bacon? I mean that doesn’t even look good!)
But back on track here… the reason we need to look for a hecksher on a candy bar is usually because of the gelatin. I had a reality check many years ago. It was horrible… People always ask me, “Have you EVER eaten something that isn’t kosher?” And my answer is, I am sure I have inadvertently but I have been keeping kosher since I seven and strict since 17. My reality check was a mistake. I love gummy bears. I really, really, do… certain flavors mind you (why do they always put more of the crappy flavors in the bags?) but I just love them. They are my second favorite candy. Well, Haribo makes insanely good gummy bears. They are just soft enough and taste yummy. Not too big or too small. Just perfect. One day I was having a chat with a vegan friend who mentioned that I should check the gummy in the gummy bears… uh oh, I thought. I hadn’t even considered the possibility. Well I mean who even uses pork gelatin these days… sure, no hecksher but…
AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went to their website and sure enough, in their FAQ’s this is what it said –
I nearly died… for several reasons.
#1. I LOVE these gummy bears!
#2. I had just bought a 5 POUND BAG! (remember… gummies are light… 5 pounds is a lot!)
#3. I had been eating them for about a year!
#4. I LOVE THESE GUMMY BEARS!
#5. … the Paskesz version they mention, while just as good, cost about 300% more than regular. You can buy regular for $0.99 but the Kosher kind is usually just over $3
So I vowed that day, never to eat candy without checking the hecksher again. No complacency. No more piggy gelatin. So I searched. You will be happy to hear, many of my favorite candies have a hecksher… including my #1 favorite, Good and Plenty. Yes. I love black licorice.
There is a great resource (though you have to be vigilant because these things can change at the drop of a hat) online. This company compiled the heckshers of all the candy they carry (which is most of it). Check it out here – Old Time Candy – Kosher
Use it wisely, friends!
Think you have the “chops” to be a kosher chef? Check out the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts!