The Shmooze

Peeling Back The Forbidden Strawberry

By Nathan Jeffay

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It’s the forbidden fruit… unless peeled.

The strawberry has been the cause of much rabbinical consternation in recent years. The reason is that many rabbis believe strawberries to be a favorite hangout for insects, and eating an insect is actually more problematic in Jewish law than eating pork.

Now one of Israel’s most prolific Haredi organizations, the Eida Haredit, has decreed that strawberries – which are currently in season in Israel – should not be eaten as purchased, even if thoroughly washed. This is not enough to get rid of insects, it says.

If you want to eat strawberries, says the decree which can be viewed here in its original Hebrew and with an English abstract, you should peel off the green top, “skin” (no help with defining this is provided) taking some of the “flesh” of the fruit with it.

Another permitted option is to remove the green top and only a “little” of the “flesh,” soak the berries in soapy water, rinse thrice, and then blend so they look like baby food. Champagne and strawberry mush anyone?


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: rabbis, insects, Israel, Haredi, Eida Haredit, strawberry

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