Talia’s Steakhouse on New York’s Upper East Side has started serving a “Kosher Parve Cheeseburger,” made with a beef patty and tofu cheese, but according to the New York Post, some observant Jews aren’t salivating over the prospect — including Jackie Mason.
“I would never entertain the thought of eating cheese — real or fake — with meat… It makes me nauseous just thinking about it,” the comedian said.
Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, gave a more serious assessment to the Post:
Jewish law is very concerned for appearances. Not only should you always do the right thing, but it should be seen as the right thing.
Any Jew who keeps kosher knows a cheeseburger is not permissible. But … what happens if a young kid, a 10-year-old, goes in there and says, hmm, maybe cheese on a burger is OK?
Detractors aside, there is apparently a constituency for a kosher cheeseburger. Talia’s owner, Ephraim Nagar, claims he has sold at least 20 of these $5-$8 burgers a night.
Note: Cheeseburger pictured above is not actual “Kosher Parve Cheeseburger” from Talia’s Steakhouse.