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Mar 13, 2002 02:16 PM

Kosher Pickles

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I know this sounds stupid but would like to have an answer anyway, if someone doesn't mind. We were discussing Kosher during work today and the question came up about Kosher Pickles. What is a Kosher Pickle and what is the difference between it and a Dill Pickle. Believe it or not I can't find the answer on the net. There are plenty of sites that give recipes or places where you can purchase them and so on. But we would like to know "What is Kosher, in a Kosher Pickle?" Thanks and forgive our stupidity!!! If you don't mind it would be great to get an answer by email

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  1. Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz in his online book Kosher Quest says:
    PICKLES - Require supervision. Common problem: turmeric, flavoring, non-kosher equipment. Note: government standards regarding the term "kosher pickle" merely require that they contain garlic, and then they are permitted by law to be called "kosher pickle"

    Mt. Olive Pickles Brand Pickles says:
    Q: What is a ‘kosher pickle?’
    A: The word "kosher" itself is derived from Hebrew and actually means "religiously clean." Today, however, for many people "kosher" has come to mean that garlic flavor has been added. Mt. Olive's pickles are both kosher and kosher: our kosher dills are not only garlic flavored, but they are also religiously clean. In fact, all but two of our products, Jalapeno Peppers and Pepperoncini, have the approval of the Jewish Orthodox Congregations of America and carry the widely recognized U symbol of approval.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
    Kosher Pickle-
    NOUN: A pickled cucumber flavored with garlic.
    ETYMOLOGY: From its use in kosher delicatessens.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
    VARIANT FORMS: also ka·sher (kä-)
    ADJECTIVE: 1. Judaism a. Conforming to dietary laws; ritually pure: kosher meat. b. Selling or serving food prepared in accordance with dietary laws: a kosher restaurant. 2. Slang a. Legitimate; permissible: “consolidating noneditorial functions of the papers, which is kosher” (Christian Science Monitor). b. Genuine; authentic.
    TRANSITIVE VERB:Inflected forms: ko·shered, ko·sher·ing, ko·shers
    To make proper or ritually pure.
    ETYMOLOGY: Yiddish kosher, from Ashkenazi Hebrew kóer, from Hebrew kr, fitting, proper, from kr, to be fitting, to succeed.

    7 Replies
    1. re: The Rogue

      How do you get kosher meat and pickles, my friend says a rabbi blesses them which makes them kosher . Is this what you call religously clean . The reason I`m asking is my brother-in-law is Jewish and I want to learn more about Jews and their religion. Thanks J Byrd

      1. re: James Byrd

        Nope, no blessing is involved (well, there is a
        blessing involved in the slaughter of animals, but
        the meat is just as kosher if the blessing was omitted)

        For a pickle to be kosher, basically all that's
        required is to make sure that none of the ingredients
        are animal-derived (or if they are they've been checked
        out), and the barrels or vats or whatever they're
        pickled in haven't been used for unkosher things

        Meat is more complicated - it's got to be a kosher
        animal (e.g. cow, sheep, goat, deer, bison, giraffe,
        chicken, turkey, duck, goose), it's got to be
        slaughtered properly by an expert slaughterer, the
        lungs and internal organs have to be inspected for
        signs of disease, certain fats and other parts have
        to be removed, and then the blood has to be extracted
        by salting. Basically, kosher meat is what you buy
        from a kosher butcher; there is no way that meat from
        an ordinary butcher is going to be kosher.

        1. re: James Byrd
          janice gasparri

          i need a receipe for pickling pickles. kosher style. thanks jan

          1. re: janice gasparri

            There's a very good recipe for real kosher brined dill pickles (NO vinegar!) from Mimi Sheraton's book, My Mother's Kitchen: Recipes & Reminiscences, at the link below:


          2. re: James Byrd

            Trying to find e-mail or even snail mail address for
            Gus' Kosher pickles. Are any sold or delivered in the
            L.A. or nearby area?

            What is local address for Gus in NYC. I have seen various city or boro addresses mentioned.

            Thanks for your help

            1. re: Vi Dopman

              Just saw this, wow...9 years old...GUSS is spelled with two "S's". Not even sure if they still exist...

              1. re: DebbyT

                I think they only sell wholesale to supermarkets etc. now since they closed up in Cedarhurst

        2. d
          donald s musickant

          I believe that "kosher" in reference to pickle recipes simply is a term that indicates the recipe is one for pickles as they were made in Jewish Delis and Jewish households. It is not meant to be taken literally.

          Since the practice of Orthodoxy was common in Eastern Europe in the 19th and early to mid 2oth Century where "dill pickles" were "born", one can assume that pickles may have been put up prior to the Sabbath and in a home that was observant viz a viz the dietary laws.

          One thing is for certain. All those commercial pickles offered either in jars or sold bulk that contain sodium benzoate and/or calcium chloride should be condemned and outlawed. Most of America have grown up conditioned on the chemical taste of pickles which they think is the "normal" flavor. To those of us lucky enough to have eaten the real Mccoy, the others are considered garbage.

          D.S. Musickant

          1. With regard to 'kosher' pickles, the word 'Kosher' simply means Jewish style and has nothing to do with Jewish law. This style of pickle is made with salt dill and garlic and no vinegar or sugar. So how does it turn sour if there's no vinegar? The salt leaches out the natural sugar of the cucumber which ferments and turns into lactic acid, which tastes different than the acetic acid of vinegar.
            Israeli pickles are just as Jewish as the so-called kosher ones but they are made with vinegar along with the salt, garlic and dill. Most other pickles also add sugar but there's nothing unkosher about sugar. For example, Vlasic pickles are Polish pickles and they are also kosher certified.

            1 Reply
            1. re: arifree

              I don't know why you revisited an 8 year old topic, but I'll add another point. "Kosher pickes" have to be kosher under consumer protection laws. In most states, you cannot call a product "kosher" without it actually being kosher. We can debate standards, but it is pretty much fraud to call a product "kosher" when it isn't. The work-around is to call a product Kosher-style or Jewish-style or even New York-style.

              Kosher pickles, much like kosher salt, refers to a specific pickling technique. Nonetheless, the product must be kosher.