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Kosher Salt

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The term “kosher” does not usually refer to a style of cuisine, but rather to food that meets the requirements of Jewish dietary laws. However, there are a few products that do use the word “kosher” as an adjective, such as kosher salt. Since salt is a natural mineral, it would be normal to wonder how salt could possibly be “unkosher.” Kosher salt does not indicate that the salt has received certification, but rather that it is salt that is the right cut and coarseness for preparing kosher meat.

The salt treatment that is applied to all kosher meat and poultry is not a curing process. It is the means by which observant Jews ensure that they are not violating a Biblical prohibition by consuming blood.

Kosher-ing salt crystals are flatter than the crystals of tables salt. After a cut of meat has been thoroughly rinsed of any exterior blood, soaked in water for half an hour and dried, it is covered with a light layer of salt and left to sit on a rack for an hour or so. The salt draws any remaining blood out of the meat.  When the process is completed, the meat is once again rinsed in order to remove all of the salt.

Once upon a time, the salting of the meat was a common household task, and therefore, kosher salt was a popular retail item. Today, this process is usually completed by the kosher butcher or meat processor before packaging.

Copyright © 2012 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

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