Kosher Food Production
Following an introduction to basic Kosher laws and theory, author Blech details the essential food production procedures required of modern food plants to meet Kosher certification standards. Chapters on Kosher application include ingredient management; rabbinic etiquette; Kosher for Passover; fruits and vegetables; food service; and the industries of baking, biotechnology, dairy, fish, flavor, meat and poultry, and oils, fats, and emulsifiers. A collection of informative and entertaining articles – specifically geared to the secular audience of food scientists – then follows, giving readers insight and understanding of the concerns behind the Kosher laws they are expected to accommodate.
Kosher Food Production serves as an indispensable outline of the issues confronting the application of Kosher law to issues of modern food technology.
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A number of matters to like about this book compared to others past and present:
1. Blech delves into the LOGIC and REASON the Jewish consumer should care about about kashrus, as well as pertinent kashrus production methods such consumers should focus on.
2. While Blech covers the major Food-Preparation 'Industry' and current Food-Preparation 'Story' details, he still manages to avoid the overwhelming halachic nitty-gritty that books such as
Binyomin Forst's 'The Laws Of Kashrus' (Feldheim publishers) tend to barrage the Jewish Kosher consumer with.
The latter may indeed NOT be the indispensable reference for the kosher consumer that Feldheim publishers would no doubt prefer to claim for it.
3. As this is written, it is within a month of Pesach and the time that in past years Rav Avraham Blumenkrantz al"h/z"tzl has published his indispensible Guide for Pesach. It is immensely comforting to know for this particular kosher consumer as well as any others remotely similar, that a _balanced_ treatment of key Pesach kashrus issues comes out as opposed to that of consistent "far-out" blanket chumras (= compelling stringencies) or blanket kulos (=over-lenient permissions).
- The sections of Blech's book seem to cover background info which even the currently authoritative Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc, http://www.crcweb.org) has perceptively glossed over in its various kosher-product approval lists.
Of note are the various current cRc articles that seem to follow-through on Blech's book:
- Blechs's (same author) article on 'Kosher Fish for the Kosher Consumer' found at http://www.crcweb.org/kosher/consumer/articles/B-fish.html
Q: Does Blech REALLY enjoy fish??
- A number of hard-hitting looks at the Kashrus of various common foods by cRc kashrus Administrator Rabbi Fishbane found at http://www.crcweb.org/kosher/consumer/kosherArticles.html#Kashruth_Articles
Q: Does Fishbane NOT like fish??
* One sees from this last site that little remains unexamined by Rabbi Fishbane.
Thorough investigations by Fishbane into such matters as 'The Kashrus Status of the Popular Latté [by Starbucks]' , 'A Fresh Clean Look at the Kashrus Status of Toothpaste' , ' Dried Fruits'...etcetera, are failr hard-hitting.
Perhaps Fishbane's writings are knowledgeably enlightening or -- perhaps in a similar vein as Rav Blumenkrantz al"h/z"tzl routinely performed in his 'Guide for Pesach' research -- a tendency to drift towards certain "far-out" chumras??
It is definitely up to the Blech readers of this book to decide this after reading Kosher Food Production and then reviewing Fishbane's cRc writings!!
This is the finest and most complete book on kosher food production available today. The knowledge needed and held by Rabbi Z.Y. Blech to write this 'bible of kosher production' is quite obvious. The book delves into ingredient development,manufacture, process and continues on to questions regarding equipment, packaging etc. This book is pricy for the common layman, but well worth the expenditure to the lay-leader and rabbi who needs a good grasp of the status of kosher products available today. My rating - 5 stars (out of 5).