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Teff?

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  • maga Feb 7, 2011 11:38 AM
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The only kosher brand I know of is Bob's Red Mill, and I can't find it in any stores... I don't particularly care to pay nearly $15 to have it shipped to me. Anyone know where I can find this (or another kosher brand) in the NYC area?

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  1. Have you tried Fairway? I ask because your post reminds me that it would be interesting to try making injera and some kind of Ethiopian stew.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AdinaA

      My bad. I should have realized and said that flour does not need supervision.

      But I still intend to make injera and serve it with an Ethiopian stew one day soon.

    2. I would suggest asking the Rav to whom you ask your kashrut shailot, if it even needs a hechsher. I didn't ask about teff, but I asked my Rav if plain, untreated, unroasted grains in general needed a hechsher, and was told they did not. In fact, I once bought a grain I didn't realize at the time was roasted, and the Rav said that I could even use that (that was a b'dieved, so I don't know how he would rule l'chatchilah).

      17 Replies
      1. re: queenscook

        Raw teff, I'm told, doesn't NEED to have a hechsher... but if I know that there's an option out there that DOES have one, I'd rather use it.

        1. re: maga

          OK. Definitely a philosophy I don't understand (and in fact, one I feel is harmful to the community), but to each his own.

          1. re: queenscook

            Does OU or OK or RCC or someone have a list of foods that don't need hecschers?

            1. re: DeisCane

              I'm not sure about the ones you mention, but the CRC (from Chicago, not the Brooklyn one), does have a few articles on their site that have some info about this . . . spices, liquors, fruits and vegetables that have been processed in some way (canned, dried, etc.), if I recall correctly. They must have more, too, because recently I was double checking that baking soda did not need a hechsher, and I was able to confirm that there as well; I just don't remember which list that was on.

              1. re: queenscook

                I'm now thinking I might have actually have looked at the Star-K's site, but both sites have some of this info.

              2. re: DeisCane

                Kosher Quest has one
                http://www.kosherquest.org/kq_nonenee...

                1. re: mamaleh

                  Thanks for the list I totally agree that the marketing aspect of kosher should be thwarted as it encourages innapropriate extremism and elitism. I appreciate the list and will now also be able to purchase generic versions of certain products (like canned veggies or rice) without worry. Thanks.

                  1. re: mamaleh

                    I'm not the most Machmir on kosher but I find many issues with this list. How can canned veggies not need certification? Olives?? we don't know what machinery was used and I would not feel comfortable using canned veggies w/o a hechsher on my dishes. Also, maybe I'm ignorant but there are so many items used to preserve food these days besides the kashrut issue, being lactose intolerant I am amazed at how many products have dairy/whey as an ingredient. Luckily I live in NYC so finding things with a hechsher is not a problem,.

                    1. re: pitagirl

                      Rabbis who are well versed in all the areas of production of foods are the ones who come up with these lists; if they say that canned veggies, for example, don't need a hechsher, it is because THEY know what is and is not done in the processing plants, even though laymen may not.

                      What troubles me is that the very same people who would generally not make important halachic decisions without asking a Rav, here are taking the position that they know more than the rabbeim they normally trust. In other words, they ignore the fact that rabbeim investigate quite carefully, and perhaps have discovered, for instance, that all that canned veggies contain are the veggies and water. If that is the case, this may be why they can say that's it's OK to eat them without a hechsher. But, people--who admit ignorance of the facts--still have no problem saying that what the rabbis are saying simply can't be trusted. I'm not saying that this specific thing is factually correct (the canned veggies in water example), just that rabbis we trust for other things are not being trusted for this.

                      1. re: queenscook

                        That is a very interesting observation about who we trust. What I really like about these lists and the ones that come out before Pesach about things that do not need a KLP hechsher, is that they force us out of our automaton comfort zone to ask questions and learn about why things may or may not be kosher. As with anything else, if you have doubts about what is on any of these lists you ask your local rabbi. I was stunned to find out mine concurred that olives packed in salt and water did not need a hechsher, but yours may think differently.

                        1. re: queenscook

                          very smart post queenscook. I remember a few years ago the rabbi in my community at the time said that it was OK to buy non-certified fresh fish fillets from the supermarket even though the knife used may also have been used to cut shrimp or other treif fish and then used to cut your salmon. He stated that first the knife is cold and second you needed to have treif residue that is more than the size of an egg to make the salmon non-kosher. Well you can imagine the reaction of the women, each more pious than the next horrified stating that this did not meet their high kashrut standards. I don't know how widely accepted the rabbi's interpretation is and I still only buy certified fish, but the womens reactions were truly classic-low self esteemed people using religion to try and feel better than others. We soon moved out of that community.

                        2. re: pitagirl

                          Canned vegetables. For many decades vegetables were canned in small packing plants located in growing regions that operated only for the short harvest season. This plant opened to can artichokes when they were harvested in Castroville. That one to can blueberries when they ripened in Maine. Then the plant shut downuntil the next harvest of artichoke, or blueberries, or whatever. They were one-purpose industrial facilities. Therefore the kashruth of canned vegetables was universally accepted as not requiring supervision.

                          In recent years for economic reasons the canning business has moved to larger plants with more expensive machinery. One big plant, and produce trucked to it from a wide radius. Because modern canning plants represent large capital investments, the owners want them to stay open year-round. in the off-season for vegetables they have discovered that they can cook and can ethnic specialty foods, like chile con carne.

                          This is why the large kashruth agencies have switched from giving a blanket approval to American canned vegetables to putting hechscherim on things like canned corn.

                          It is still causing confusion since almost everyone grew up in a country where all plain, canned vegetables were kosher without the need of supervision.

                          1. re: AdinaA

                            Thank you Adina, this is what I was trying to convey. To the other posters - I trust MY Rabbi and if I had a question I would ask him. I do not blindly trust Rabbis or Hechshers. Again, I live in NYC so finding certified products are not an issue for me, and if I feel more comfortable buying a can of green beans that have an OU rather than one without why does that bother anyone? To each his own!

                    2. re: queenscook

                      QC, could you explain what you mean by it being harmful to the community? If you have a choice between something with a hashgacha and one without, (assuming it doesnt specifically NEED a hashgacha) Why wouldn't you purchase the one with the hashgacha, and how is that harmfull to the community?

                      1. re: KosherChef

                        I am not Queenscook, but in my opinion, specifically avoiding products without a hechsher even though they don't need supervision creates the perception that doing so is necessary. Over time, this ignorance pushes everyone within the community to buy only hechshered products even if others are cheaper or of better quality, and may cause people not to trust the kashrus of those who buy unhechshered products, even if they're perfectly kosher.

                        1. re: GilaB

                          I completely agree. I have watched with growing concern the appearance of hechshers on products from water to whiskey that do not need a hechsher. And I share GilaB's concerns exactly.

                          1. re: AdinaA

                            GilaB and AdinaA have expressed my concerns precisely. (I also feel it goes far beyond food, but that's really beyond the purview of this thread or board.)

                2. I bought Bob's Red Mill teff at the Fairway in New Jersey so you might try the manhattan fairway. I bought this to make a gluten free bread and actually have a lot left over..were you going to do something interesting with it? I would be interested in any suggested uses.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: azna29

                    I tried the pudding recipe on the back of the bag, but I think I'm going to try sprouting it. I have no idea if it will work, but I don't see why it shouldn't...

                  2. While we're on the topic of far out grains, has anyone seen black quinoa anywhere in metro-NY area? I don't mean red quinoa, I mean BLACK. I can't really order 10 lbs through Amazon, I just want to try one package.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: websterhall1994

                      I haven't seen it personally, but Kalustyan's has it on their website. They probably stock it in their store as well - call them and ask. The store is at 123 Lexington Ave; the phone number is 212-685-3451.
                      http://www.kalustyans.com/catalog.asp...

                      1. re: websterhall1994

                        Whole Foods, Union Square and Chelsea for sure (spotted this week), thus, probably most other branches. I once spotted it at Lifethyme, Dean and Deluca's, and Gourmet Garage, as well!

                        1. re: websterhall1994

                          I second the Whole Foods; Tribeca carries it, as well.

                          1. re: websterhall1994

                            Fairway in Stamford, CT also carries it.

                          2. I can't speak to the kosher issues, but I've seen Bob's Red Mill brown teff flour at Fairway on Broadway, some Whole Foods, and LifeThyme, in the Village. Not sure about the whole grain, but you could call around. The only US source of white teff, grain and flour, I've ever heard of is direct from a farm in Idaho called The Teff Company ( http://www.teffco.com/index.html .) They're not cheap either but possibly less expensive than small orders of BRM on a per pound basis.

                            1. I actually called Back to the Land in Brooklyn and asked whether they carry it, and they said that they do... I guess I'll have to find my way there one of these days.

                              Re: the hashgacha, I probably wouldn't mind as much if raw grains were the only thing produced in that factory. But if it's manufactured on shared equipment (as is the case with the brand I can easily find), I'm just not comfortable with it.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: maga

                                Is teff considered kitnyos for Passover?

                                1. re: havdalahclub

                                  Ask your own rav, of course. But my understanding is that quinoa is in a special category, not only because it is not a botanically grain (buckwheat/kasha is also not a grain, both quinow and kasha are members of the goosefoot family) but because quinoa only grows at high altitude (they grow it in the Andes, the Rockies) higher than the altitude at which wheat or rye can grow. this means that a stray grain of wheat cannot diabolically infiltrate the quinoa field and produce little grains of wheat that will be inadvertently harvested along with the quinoa by an unsuspecting farmer.

                                  1. re: AdinaA

                                    Quinoa processing is generally kept separate from wheat processing in order to maintain its status as a gluten free food. In the past, very few companies strictly( for stricter Passover requirements) followed this. As a result, only 1 or 2 companies' quinoa was considered acceptable for Passover.

                                    According to the CRC website amaranth should also be ok for Passover use. However, there don't seem to be any companies that keep amaranth separate from other grains.

                              2. Don't know if it is kosher, but Gary Null's Whole Foods on 87th-ish and Broadway has Teff grain (Shiloh Farms brand) AND Teff flour (Bob's Red Mill brand)!

                                I have been driving myself crazy trying to find this and all the posts I saw were circa 2008, so I am happy to have found a nearby source.

                                Cheers to teff and injera :D