Kosher KApers #5
Friday January 21, 2011
Welcome to Kosher KApers #5!
In each edition we first and foremost are listening to and answering your questions and queries and of course updating you with the latest KA news.
We also believe in casting a kosher spotlight on different and dynamic corners of Kosher Land. The KA Team is in an ongoing conversation with manufacturers, suppliers, vendors, producers and with our valued kosher consumers.
In future editions we plan to profile the products and services of many of our licensed providers to give a clear insight into exactly what is available to you, our kosher consumer.
This week, let’s begin with passion8’s new delectable assortment of gourmet deli products. Launched just after Rosh Hashanah last year, it truly features an impressive selection. "We are proud to present consumers with this high quality range. It is the culmination of extensive research and analysis of kosher food, packaging and the needs of our Jewish community," said passion8 director, Graham Flax.
This range ticks all the boxes: it is widely available, convenient and frankly, delicious. Feel like something fleishig? Try the tender chicken schnitzel…perhaps you prefer a milchig option? No problem, you can pick up cheese blintzes (all year round – not just for Shavuot!). And as for the pareve choices – where do we start? There are soups, fish (gefilte fish, fish balls, herring), tasty marinated olives and pickles, potato salad, pate, kichel (to generously help it all along) and three divine sorbet flavours: raspberry, mango and rockmelon. Wake up the morning after this veritable feast and sit down to a bowl of utterly irresistible toasted muesli.
What’s so fantastic about passion8’s gourmet deli range is not only the taste, but its availability - 15 Coles supermarkets around Sydney; 3 Franklins supermarkets (Rose Bay, Pagewood and St. Ives), Parisi’s in Rose Bay; Starks; Krinsky’s, and Sugar & Spice Deli in Castlecrag.
And now to a kosher product update on Creative Gourmet Fresh Frozen Fruit. There are currently ten kosher options within this range: from mixed berries, to raspberries to summer fruits and all available in 300gm and 500gm packs at Coles, Woolworths and Franklins supermarkets. We know so many of you enjoy eating and baking with this assortment and just wanted to explain why the Creative Gourmet Frozen Fruit Puree has recently been deleted. You see, Creative Gourmet was based in Sydney, but now is produced in Victoria – they have begun outsourcing their production of purees, and as a result, we are unable to certify that particular product.
Feeling hot and bothered – feeling parched? We are delighted to inform you of new thirst-quenching additions to the Rosie range of fruit juices, all packaged in 1.5 litre bottles. There are six delicious new flavours: Apple, Blackcurrant & Cranberry; Apple & Cranberry; Apple, Blueberry & Cranberry; Apple, Orange, Lemon & Lime; Apple, Pomegranate & Cranberry and Cranberry Lite. This builds on the three flavours already listed in 250ml size - bringing this kosher range to nine impressive choices, and all with no preservatives and no added sugar! Please note that no kosher symbol appears on the labels, all are pareve and available in Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.
Your inquiry about Heinz Beanz is appreciated – following is the low down about kosher baked beans. Currently, Heinz produce four varieties of baked
beans that are kosher and pareve: Baked Beanz (original); No Added Salt, Sweet Chilli and Salt-Reduced. To be considered kosher, these tins must indicate Product of New Zealand. You have asked why it is that Heinz baked beans with ‘Made in Australia’ on the label are not kosher. Let us explain: previously, Heinz baked beans sold in Australia were manufactured at its Australian-based canning facility where the KA had access and was able to endorse.
Heinz has closed that facility and now sources its baked beans from two different locations: the first is a canning facility in New Zealand (where we are able to visit and therefore approve). The second is from an Australian manufacturer contracted by Heinz. Thus far, the KA has not had access to this Australian processing plant, and consequently, we haven’t been able to verify the status of the Heinz Baked Beanz range made at this site. Therefore, baked beans jumping across the Tasman (okay, transported) and landing on our supermarket shelves are kosher, those made locally are not. Also kosher consumers should know that the Heinz Beanz 2 Snap Pots are not kosher – they are made in Thailand and contain fish and crustaceans. The KA team will keep you informed of the results of all investigations.
From the savoury to the sweet – kosher bakers around town have asked us why Nestlé Choc Bits Dark & Milk are kosher, yet Nestlé Choc Melts are not. We can tell you that one key ingredient used in Choc Melts is confectionary shortening and this is the problematic factor, whereas Choc Bits do not use a shortening. And while we are talking Nestlé, you wanted clarification on the kashrut status of an Aussie breakfast staple: Milo. Well, last year we issued a warning regarding Milo and other Nestlé powdered beverages. You may be surprised to know that this was because Nestlé were actually considering altering their recipes, necessitating a change in production - and also withholding access to Australian kashrut authorities. This is why until this week, we had listed in our product directory that Milo was acceptable when the ‘best before’ date was prior to July 2012. That was the last batch before the possible change.
We are so pleased to advise that this no longer applies as Nestlé will not be changing their formulas. All five Nestlé powdered beverages listed in our kosher product guide are once again acceptable and kosher. This was a collective effort to be proud of: Sydney and Melbourne kashrut authorities, in addition to the powerful voices of many kosher consumers helped to lobby Nestlé to not change their winning formula and to still allow access to the KA. Milo is happily waiting to be married to a glass of cold milk – a shidduch we definitely approve!
Kosher KApers looks forward to profiling the many and varied cottage industries that produce all-things-kosher (each with our KA hechsher) out of Our Big Kitchen (OBK), the dynamic communal kitchen located under the Yeshiva on Flood Street in Bondi. In addition to housing these unique, kosher entrepreneurial start-ups, OBK is a phenomenal resource designed to assist people-in-need.
The KA Team wants the community to know that we proudly support OBK’s communal initiative, collecting for the Toys & Toiletries Appeal on behalf of flood victims in Queensland. So much has been lost and we wholeheartedly encourage you to come together to help our northern neighbours and hopefully lift their spirits. Also, OBK has been busy day and night baking kosher biscuits for those devastated by the tragic floods. Please come and join the baking and join the giving. With so much lost, if chessed is what we can practically do to help, then chessed is what we will do!
The KA Team