Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why Do Jews Salt Meat?

First, the wrong answer, courtesy of
Ezra Kedem, chef and owner of Arcadia for 12 years, explains: "We are an Israeli-style kitchen doing original Mediterranean food with Arabic influences. I have a catering outlet that is kosher, but didn't want the certificate [for the restaurant] because of our crowd; we get a lot of business during Shabbat day. I think kashrut is something good... mesoratim [traditional Jews] find themselves here and I feel totally fine with that. At the end of the day I work with the same elements, but there are laws that I don't understand. I know that once there weren't refrigerators so we used salt [on meat], but now that is more symbolic."
Now the correct answer, courtesy of
The Torah forbids eating of the blood of an animal or bird (Leviticus 7:26); fish do not have this requirement. Thus in order to extract the blood, the entire surface of meat must be covered with coarse salt. It is then left for an hour on an inclined or perforated surface to allow the blood to flow down freely. The meat is then thoroughly washed to remove all salt. Meat must be koshered within 72 hours after slaughter so as not to permit the blood to congeal. (An alternate means of removing the blood is through broiling on a perforated grate over an open fire.)
It is disturbing that the editors at did not add a parenthetical note correcting the chef's misunderstanding. Perhaps the next jpost article will be about the "hole in the sheet."

1 comment:

JoeSettler said...

When I read the article I felt so sorry for this man who had no clue whatsoever about Judaism.

It's far too often that when I have conversations with my non-religious friends they throw their pet theories on Judaic rationale at me which they made up at some point to explain some aspect of Judaism they came in contact with but didn't understand - as they never learned even the basics of their own culture and religion.

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