Yitzchak Bernstein and Eitan Esan have a real thing for bacon. One might think this would be a problem for a couple of Orthodox kosher caterers, but it isn’t. In fact, it is their obsession with this taboo food that is bringing them and their new Oakland, California-based business, Epic Bites, a lot of attention. The word is out among Northern California’s observant Jews that if you want to buy your bacon and be able to eat it too, you call these guys.
“Let’s face it — Jews want what they can’t have,” Bernstein told The Jew and the Carrot in a recent interview over Skype. “I love bacon. It’s the ultimate taboo. People think our bacon is too good to be kosher,” he said. Bernstein, 28, actually got a chance to eat the real thing — pork bacon — when for a period in his life, he moved away from religious observance. But, now he is back to living as an Orthodox Jew, and he’s not about to give the stuff up. Esan, 27, has never eaten pork in his life and is finding this whole kosher bacon thing “phenomenal.” He has been astounded that “even non-kosher people are asking for it.”
Owners of soon-to-open kosher restaurant Jezebel in SoHo hope to turn the idea of kosher cuisine on it’s head. [Wall Street Journal]
10 suggestions for how to add bacon’s smoky flavor to dishes with vegetarian ingredients. [The Kitchn]
YouTube is set to launch Hungry, a channel dedicated to food, July 2 and plans to have 12 shows by the end of summer. [Eater]
It’s thanks to one rabbi that The Jew and the Carrot discovered kosher bacon syrup, and thanks to another that it even exists.
On Tuesday, Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, California posted a photo on Facebook of his hand holding a bottle of Torani brand “Bacon Flavoring Syrup.” His comment on the photo was: “This is hekhshered bacon-flavored syrup. Not sure where to begin.”
With all the recent talk about Jews and their love of bacon, could the advent of kosher pork really be far behind?
It appeared that the dream of kashrut-observant Jews with a hankering for the taste of treyf had come true on July 27 when photographer Oded Hirsch spotted a whole bunch of pork (spare ribs, pork chops — you name it) labeled as “Shechita Beit Yusef”(ritual slaughter of the House of Joseph) at an Associated Supermarket on Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside, Queens, a multi-ethnic neighborhood with a current Jewish population much smaller than it once was.
If you ask a lifelong kosher eater what the one food is that they wish they could try, or a newly kosher eater what they miss most, the answer is almost always, resoundingly: bacon! As Lenore Skenazy argues in the Forward this week “This is a tough moment to be a Jew. Not because of the sex scandals involving members of our tribe. Not because of calls for Israel’s withdrawal from this or that strip of land…No, it’s because we are living through an unprecedented Bacon Boom.”
Luckily, there are several fake bacon options to help you survive the bacon boom (and they’re kosher, too!):