Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >
Oct 26, 2011 08:24 PM

Information, Please

In a group of guests coming to my home will be one who observes a kosher diet. 1) Will she be able to eat any food in my house? 2) If she can, I am confused about what I can serve. Eggs are an animal product---do they count as meat, not to be mixed with milk? I want to serve a vegetarian quiche with eggs, milk, and cheese in it and the pastry with vegetable fat and no butter. ??

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There are levels of observance so it's best to confirm in advance. If she observes strictly then she will not likely eat food that you prepare (and don't take it personally).

    Just to indicate how much more complicated it can get:

    Eggs are a neutral (neither dairy nor meat) - produced by an animal is not the same as animal product (e.g. milk is produced by a cow). If this person observes strictly then she will not eat cheese that is not confirmed to have been produced with kosher rennet. Some people also require milk (and cheese and butter) to be certified to have not been produced on the sabbath.

    Also, if you're serving a quiche with milk and cheese then why would butter be questionable to you?

    So take my advice and check first. Some people are looser in their adherence to dietary laws than others so ALWAYS CHECK FIRST.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      Ferret---I meant to clarify that I am not making pastry with butter, an animal product, but with vegetable shortening. I use a pie crust under my quiche mixture.

      1. re: Querencia

        Butter, milk, cream, cheese - all come from the same source and there's no prohibition in eating them (assuming they're properly certified). Once again, coming from an animal is not the same as being part of the animal - all the above are dairy ingredients and can be used with eggs, which are a neutral ingredient. It's hard to find a milk, cream or butter these days that doesn't have Kosher certification, however, that alone is not the end of the story. Some people choose to follow a heightened level of supervision assuring that the product in question has been monitored throughout its processing (to assure that it has not been adulterated at any step from milking to packaging - and there are additional concerns over whether the product was produced on the sabbath -- but that's another digression).

        So, assuming your guest came to your house, brought her own pan, opened new packages of certified milk, cheese, butter, eggs, flour and vegetables - and then observed your preparation with new, unused utensils - everything would be "kosher". But that applies only to the strictly observant.

    2. Thank you for being such a considerate host!

      Talk to your guest. People will refer to themselves as keeping kosher while meaning a range of things, anywhere from 'I try to avoid pig products' to 'I only eat food certified by a small list of certifiers, and will not eat in the homes of most other people who keep kosher because I keep so many additional stringencies.' That said, for the most typical meaning of 'keeping kosher,' your guest will probably not eat anything cooked in your pots or oven, or hot food on your plates even if you purchased it elsewhere.

      To answer your second question, eggs and fish are not counted as meat products, and a kosher quiche could certainly contain eggs, milk, cheese, and butter.

      I'm sure your guest will be touched that you've gone out of your way on her behalf, even if all you end up being able to serve her is a fruit plate and some bought pastries. People who keep kosher go through life not expecting to be able to eat at gatherings, and any available kosher option tends to come as a pleasant surprise.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GilaB

        Thanks. I will let her know well in advance what I plan to serve. She may choose to bring a sandwich from home.

        1. re: Querencia


          You sound like a very considerate person and a wonderful hostess.

          I observe the kind of rules described by GilaB. And, for me, the nicest thing a hostess can offer me is the gift of understanding.

          Understanding and being non-judgmental if you guest decides to bring a sandwich is very gracious. As is explaining what you are making since may people observe kosher laws but are delighted ot eat a quiche prepared with no meat products.

      2. The answer begins with the questions "How kosher is your friend ?" If your home is not Kosher and your friend is strictly Kosher she won't be able to eat or drink anything except a glass of water or perhaps milk. Your friend may be willing to eat uncooked vegetables prepared using plastic cutlery and paper plates. Eggs are not meat and may be consumed with milk, but they must be checked for blood spots first. They are not Kosher if they contain a blood spot. Milk is Kosher. Cheese is not kosher without a proper certification such as OU or OK or KOFK or StarK. Preparing anything in an oven or in a pot on the stove is problematic, and if your friend is strictly Kosher she won't eat it. Serving anything that is commercially prepared without a proper Kosher certification is also problematic and she probably won't eat it. Your best bet is to stick with cold raw vegetables on paper or plactic plates or obtain a double foil wrapped certified Kosher prepared entree from a store that sells such products. You can heat a double foil wrapped item in your oven and serve it to her intact in its wrapping with paper/plastic plates and culery. Good Luck!

        1. You can't go wrong with just some grapes and pre-packaged cookies that have kosher certification.

          1. Before you make yourself crazy with packaged food, I suggest you ask the person coming. She could be as strict as others have mentioned, or she could be perfectly happy eating any dairy food you make provided there is no meat in the dish. No one here can advise you on what to do without knowing what your guest requires.