Pesach festival is observed by Jewish community to celebrate the end of oppression and slavery under the Egyptian Pharaoh some 3000 years ago. During Pesach festival, all Jews refrain from eating leaven bread to honor Jews who escaped hastily from the tyranny of Egyptian ruler Ramses II and successfully crossed over the Red Sea. The book of Exodus or Haggadah in Hebrew mentions that Jews didn't wait for dough to rise and left the place in rush. So, the Pesach festival pays careful attention to the kind of delicacies served- avoiding all kinds of leaven bread called as non-Kosher foods. The dietary law has also been laid down for Pesach festival. They are required to feast on kosher foods such as lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs during the weeklong Pesach festival. However, non kosher foods such as dairy products, gelatin and certain animals are strictly banned from consumption during Pesach festival.
Pesach Non-Kosher Foods
Non Kosher Animals
All land animals that do not chew the cud or do not have cloven hooves are considered unclean, hence, non-kosher. Hare, camel, hyrax, rock badger and pig are termed as non-kosher as per the Jewish laws. Aquatic creatures that do not have fins and scales, such as lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams and crabs are forbidden. Among the birds, the birds of prey or scavengers are regarded as non-kosher. Also, rodents, reptiles, amphibians and insects are all prohibited during Pesach festival. Furthermore, milk, eggs, fat or organs derived from any of these animals are also included as non-kosher foods.
The production of hard cheese usually contains rennet, an enzyme which separates the milk into curd. Although vegetable or microbial sources can be used to make rennet, rennet is mostly made from stomach linings of animals and hence it is considered as non-kosher. Cheese that contains rennet made from kosher animals that have been slaughtered as per the Jewish laws are, however, allowed for consumption during Pesach festival. On the contrary, rennet derived from the kosher animals that are not slaughtered according to the laws of kashrut is considered as non-kosher food.
Gelatin is hydrolyzed collagen, the main protein in animal connective tissue, that possibly comes from non-kosher sources such as pig. Hence, due to its various controversies of being kosher or not, most Orthodox rabbis have termed gelatin as non-kosher. Therefore to avoid consuming non-kosher gelatin, it is substituted with gelatin-like materials, such as food starch from tapioca, chemically modified pectins and carrageenan combined with various vegetable gums including guar gum, locust bean gum, xanthan gum, gum acacia, agar and others.
Animals are non-kosher if they are discovered to be diseased after slaughtering. Hence, their milk is also considered to be non-kosher during Passover, though many Jews overrule this principle. Another custom that arose during the Talmudic times was non-consumption of meat and dairy products altogether. This custom is being followed to this day and differs from country to country. While the Dutch consume dairy products an hour after meat consumption, the German Jews prolong to three hours. Eastern European Jews, on the other hand, wait for six hours for the same. This separation is not restricted to consumption only, but also applies for the preparation. Both dairy and milk products are cooked in separate utensils, pots and pans. Even the plates and flatware in which they are served, the dishwashers or dishpans in which they are cleaned, the sponges used for cleaning them and the towels used for drying them are also different.
The food items that are categorized as non-Kosher are strictly prohibited from consumption during the Pesach festival. Find out the list of non-Kosher foods in following write up.