The Jew And The Carrot

Bacon-Flavored Ritz Crackers — Kosher!

By Adam Soclof

  • Print
  • Share Share

(JTA) — Ritz has a new bacon-flavored cracker hitting shelves.

But unlike most things bacon-related, this Nabisco product bears a kosher symbol.

“There was much discussion over the decision about this product,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the Orthodox Union Kashrut Department.

The box for the new Ritz cracker has the signature O.U.-Dairy certification symbol.

“The reality is there’s nothing close to bacon in this product,” Elefant said. “There are artificial bacon flavorings that give the ‘bacon flavor.’”

“Nobody’s going to think this is actual bacon,” he added, noting the packaging, which has the words “Artificially Flavored” in large type right below the word “Bacon.”

At least one reviewer, however, says the cracker tastes like the real thing.

“These actually taste too much like bacon,” commented Rina Raphael, style editor for NBC’s “Today” show, who sampled the Ritz crackers before they hit shelves.

That’s not the sort of claim the people at the kosher certification agency can verify.

“We’re not in any way saying that it tastes like the real thing,” Elefant said. “That’s not at all what our certification represents.”

Kosher imitation-bacon products aren’t anything new.

Elefant vaguely recalled another bacon-flavored product that nearly lost its O.U. certification for not printing the words “imitation” or “artificial” sufficiently prominently on the packaging. Ultimately, though, the manufacturer addressed the O.U.’s concerns.

Jeffrey Yoskowitz, a non-pork-eater who runs the website Pork Memoirs, pointed to beef fry, a postwar pork alternative, and Bac-Os Bits, certified kosher in the 1990s.

He also cited the J&D product line of bacon-flavored mayonnaise and salt. These items also bear an O.U. symbol.

“There seems to be a whole industry of kosher-certified bacon flavors,” Yoskowitz said.

But Yoskowitz says he won’t be sampling the new crackers.

“This is a particular type of American item I don’t want to be a part of, specifically because of the artificial flavoring,” he explained. “I’d rather have beef bacon or lamb bacon on a cracker.”

He also has a specifically Jewish objection.

“To see a Jew eating kosher bacon-flavored crackers is just as confusing as a Jew walking into a non-kosher restaurant,” Yoskowitz said.

Elefant acknowledged that some Jews will feel uncomfortable with the product.

“I’m not saying I wouldn’t eat it. But I could understand someone not eating it,” he said.

Still, the rabbi sees no problem with issuing certification in this instance.

“Kosher law is kosher law,” he said. “If proper law, supervision and certification are followed, the law is the law; no law that says you can’t have artificial-flavored bacon.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: ritz, kosher, cracker, bacon

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • What would Maimonides say about Warby Parker's buy-one, give-one charity model?
  • For 22 years, Seeds of Peace has fostered dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian teens in an idyllic camp. But with Israel at war in Gaza, this summer was different. http://jd.fo/p57AB
  • J.J. Goldberg doesn't usually respond to his critics. But this time, he just had to make an exception.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.