Tag Archives: kosher

April 4, 2010 – Why We Eat Ham on Easter

4 Apr

9 am

1 cup of coffee

1 croissant

1 pm

1 apple

strawberries

7 pm

ham

roast beef

asparagus

Diet Coke

I always wondered how ham, the delicious byproduct of an unclean animal (according to Leviticus 11:9-12), came to be associated with a holiday honoring the most famous Jews of all time.  In fact, ham is also de rigeur during Christmas. On Easter, ham is primarily an American thing. Most of the world eats lamb, which makes more sense, symbolically. But ham, like other pork product, is a no-no according to kosher laws, and it was the same for some Christian sects as well. I COULD start a theological debate by bringing up that most Biblical food laws coincide with ancient food preservation, or the lack thereof, and that a lot of ancient people probably got sick from eating improperly cooked pork before they realized why that was happening, leading to the passages in Leviticus. It’s the same reason why shellfish was also forbidden according to the Bible. But for some reason, ham is not only OK, it’s tradition to eat it at Easter. So I decided to do a little research, i.e. ask on Google, and see what the reason was. And the answer is… I’m not sure. Stupid Google! There seems to be a few possible answers. One, ham was cured at the beginning of winter in America, and when Easter rolled around, that was the meat most commonly available. And since lamb is relatively scarce here, ham made the most sense. It was also OK for Christians to eat ham because St. Peter lifted most dietary bans for Christians in the early days of it’s religion. That might’ve been a political move to gain more converts in the Roman Empire, where pork was more common. So, there you go. Despite the original ban in Leviticus, it’s now tradition to eat a pig for Jesus. Let’s hope this doesn’t send all of us swine lovers to hell.

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March 29, 2010

29 Mar

10 am

1 scrambled egg tostada (leftover from Malo)

water

1 pm

handful of beef jerky

7 pm

egg salad sandwich on potato bread

2 glasses of kosher Coca-Cola

I’m not Jewish, but I still look forward to Passover for one slight reason. Now there’s no reason for me to attend a seder (though I did go last year) and I rarely craved matzah, kugel or gelfite fish. Instead, I get excited for kosher Coca-Cola. During Passover, kosher standards tend to tighten up. Among the casualties is corn syrup, so Coca-Cola rolls out kosher soda around Passover that uses real cane syrup instead. I can be a snob about sodas and strongly prefer sugar over corn syrup. Cane sugar has more depth, isn’t as sickeningly syrup-y and tastes a thousand time better than the corn syrup soda Coca-Cola introduced as “Classic” back in the 80’s after the New Coke fiasco. If you’re wondering, kosher Coke is exactly the same as the Mexican Coke that comes in glass bottles. The only difference is the 2-liter plastic packaging and the yellow cap with Hebrew written on top. Taste and ingredient-wise, they’re both the same. But only one has been blessed by a rabbi.

9:30 pm

7 hard cider samples

cheese and crackers

Everyone has interests and hobbies, but not everyone decides to try and turn that into a living. My friend Brook Bennett decided to give it and go and brew hard cider. I can’t fault a man for wanting to spend his life make alcoholic drinks, so of course I wish him the best. He has a name for his brand, “California Dry,” and even a brewer somewhere north of LA who makes batches of cider for him. Tonight, he had a tasting for three of his varieties. One of his three was well-liked and another had a lot of potential. In other words, he might actually make a living doing this. So you can now rank “making cider” above “blogging” as lucrative hobbies.

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