Imagine you’re a kosher traveler sightseeing in Croatia and you’d like to make sandwiches for a picnic lunch. How would you know which bread is kosher, or which jam to look for on the store shelf? You probably wouldn’t have a clue.
Until now, kosher shopping posed a real challenge to those unfamiliar with European hekshers and local kosher food distribution networks. But all that is changing thanks to a massive online database of every kosher European food product — ever.
It’s not always easy to find products with various hekshers all listed together in one place. Fortunately for Jews Down Under, the Kashrut Authority of Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific Region has a website (promising “Keeping kosher made easy”) with just such a list. But in the United States, consumers have to search different authorities’ databases. For instance, the Orthodox Union’s database only contains OU authorized products.
“This online resource is a fantastic example of how modern technology can be used to make religious life a little easier,” said Conference of European Rabbis president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt of the new European list. “The project comes following a huge amount of hard work over recent months and we will of course continue to update and improve it.”
With more than 5,000 products listed, kosher eaters in Europe will not go hungry. You can buy kosher Knorr sauce to put on your kosher Buitoni pasta in just about any country on the continent. Sweet tooths can be indulged with kosher chocolate from famous confectioners like Lindt in many European countries.
And there is no need to call off that picnic you were hoping to have while touring Zagreb. Thanks to Croatia’s chief rabbi Dr. Kotel Da-Don, you’ll just need to consult your smart phone to be able to find more than twenty varieties of kosher jam (many of them local brands) for your sandwiches.