"Kosher"-exactly what is meant by that from a guest

26 replies [Last post]
birdwatcher's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2009

I know I've not been on in a while-but been busy I am enjoying this assignment much more than the last and there is SO MUCH MORE to do in the area. Anyway, we had a guest do a reservation on line and in the notes place he said "Kosher Style" Please and -this kind of made me mad-EASY WITH THE MUFFINS AND BREAD. that part really made me kind of go huh? cause buddy you're not the only one at the table, now if he had asked could you provide a bagel or some other kind of bread like item I would not be so upset.

The thing is that i don't really know about the Kosher part other than the pots, pans, dishes, utensils cannot be intermixes with certain types of food even if they had been washed I wasnt sure so I went on line to get more info. I did and e-mailed him asking him how "kosher" did he require us to be.

We are not Kosher in the sense that you are either a Kosher establishment or you are not...anyone have any input on this? We did not accept the reservation until we hear from this person because honestly I would not want to be responsible for someone elses "religious" rites.

Thanks and I hope everyone is well and had a wonderful easter.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

I thought of this thread, had a gentleman from Seattle (yeah my old stomping ground) book a package with us, and his name was obv Jewish, and he said "We are kosher, so if you can just provide vegetarian meals that would be fine."  BLESS HIS HEART! What a champion.  The music package also involves a local dinner theater, so I made sure I told them the same when I bought his tickets.  I love no fuss guests. 

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

Proud Texan's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/30/2008

This topic got me to thinking.   I may put a disclaimer on our "breakfast" page of our website stating that, while we try to accomodate dietary restrictions,  this should not be misconstrued that we are in any way keeping a kosher kitchen.

This has really not been a problem for us because of our geographic location,  but we had to make a similar statement to let people know that we are not ADA compliant.   As long as people know up front,  those that have dietary or other issues will go elsewhere. 

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Instead, I would give them a yogurt (OU kosher), some fruit, bottled orange juice, plastic cutlery, plastic plate, paper napkin, bread (if I can easily get some kosher bread, otherwise a box of kosher crackers), styrofoam cup and a small unopened 1/2 quart of milk. Anyone who keeps kosher and has to travel will kvell over how much trouble you went for them. Take my word for it, the fact that it's all closed packaging and all marked OU kosher would make them very happy, because they know you respect them.

Anyone who is so religious as to require "cholov yisrael" won't be staying at your place and wouldn't even think of eating anything from your kitchen.

To be 100% honest, if I saw that disclaimer, I would book elsewhere. I'm not religious and I don't keep kosher, but that disclaimer reads very differently in my mind. I'm assuming that that isn't your intent, but honestly, that is how I would see it.

__________________

Permission to quote in whole or in part, other than usage on this forum, is entirely forbidden.

 

Proud Texan's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/30/2008

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

To be 100% honest, if I saw that disclaimer, I would book elsewhere. 

 Frankly it would not be worded so abruptly.  I merely stated it that plainly as an example.  Besides, I don't see how you could read that disclaimer about food prep as anti-semetic.

We live in Podunk, Texas.   This town is 99.9% Baptist.    There is one small grocery store besides a redneck Walmart.  Do you honestly think they carry kosher food anywhere in this town? I'm just saying you can't expect kosher when the predominent population and diet is not.   

We discourage individuals in wheelchairs because of our property's rough terrain.  That does not mean we discriminate against individuals with disabilities.  They can come here if they want,  but they'll have a hell of time navigating our property.   So it is with individuals wanting a kosher meal.   We can't serve it, so they should know up front.   

 

Weaver's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/24/2012

Proud Texan wrote:

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

To be 100% honest, if I saw that disclaimer, I would book elsewhere. 

 Frankly it would not be worded so abruptly.  I merely stated it that plainly as an example.  Besides, I don't see how you could read that disclaimer about food prep as anti-semetic.

We live in Podunk, Texas.   This town is 99.9% Baptist.    There is one small grocery store besides a redneck Walmart.  Do you honestly think they carry kosher food anywhere in this town? I'm just saying you can't expect kosher when the predominent population and diet is not.    

Read the labels and look at the packaging.  You might be quite surprised at what the Redneck Walmart in Podunk has that is in fact Kosher.  My podunk town of 36K people with a .0001% population of jewish people carries a huge amount of kosher items in their Walmart.  Not by choice simply because of manufacturing. 

Enteman's Donuts

Most Pillsbury and Betty Crocker Mixes

Walmart brand Cranberry Apple Juice

Stoneyfield farm yogurt is not only kosher but gluten free.

Just to name a few.

Look at the packaging of things in your pantry now.  I would bet there is more kosher food in your pantry than you might expect to find at podunk walmart. 

I will readily admit there is less kosher prepackaged food of certain varieties than others but, there is more of many of the items one might prepare for breakfast than one might expect.  Fruit is easy, it is kosher by nature, unless you rubbed it with pork or shell fish before serving it, which no one in their right mind would do.

Eggs are PARVE therefore neutral, can be served with either meat or cheese providing they are from a chicken, duck, goose, cornish hen or turkey.  Bread is pareve, therefore unless you add milk or butter or serve with butter it can be served with meat or dairy. 

A simple and very acceptable alternative to Eric's very correct assertion would be:

Pancakes, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs (with cheese if you like and any other vegetables), potatoes/hasbrowns cooked in vegetable oil, salmon such as lox or even mixed in the scrambled eggs, even a wonderful rice or bread pudding could be made if no meat was being served.

It isn't all that hard, it is just a little different, and as Eric pointed out, if anyone keeps strict kosher they won't eat anything you serve if you cooked it yourself in your kitchen.  Prepackaged and disposable serving/eating utensils would be the only way to go, and yes they would kvell at the effort you took to be so incredibly respectful, probably garnering an outstanding review.

Case in point and I will be done with this long winded post....

A good friend of the family, his family keeps strict kosher, no non kosher food enters their home.  When my DS (and the rest of the teenage herd) goes over their after a large group out to dinner, and they have togo/doggie bags, they leave them in the garage.  However when this young man is in my home, he happily eats what ever I prepare in the kosher style.  He heartily begs for my DD Orange Bread, begs for my special fried baked potatoes slathered with cheese (bought at walmart) and gobbles every all beef hotdog or hamburger as they come off the grill.

I leave you with this one thought, would you say the same to someone who said they are gluten free or lactose intolerant?  If your answer is yes then, as JB put it send them her way she would happily accommodate.  Or is it that it is unfamiliar to you, and therefore more difficult to understand.  Frankly it is way easier than a GF menu, been there done that for 6 weeks when my oldest was being tested for celiac, and she wasn't even living at home at the time.

 

 

 

 

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

You would be surprised how much is likely marked as kosher. Yoplait yogurt. Minute Maid. Almost anything made by Quaker. A lot of Keebler items. You just don't notice it. I have taken my dad through Podunk before in states smaller than Texas and managed to get plenty to eat as long as we didn't worry about meat.

Honestly, I'm telling you that anyone who was really kosher, wouldn't want you to prepare breakfast for them anyway. Any disclaimer of that sort would immediately make me look elsewhere. I'm guessing that Muslims who follows the same prohibitions (except for the mixing of meat and dairy) would likely view it exactly the same way. And, the fact is, the mentioning of it on your website will bring exactly those people to your website, because when they put in texas kosher bed and breakfast, your will pop up, for all the wrong reasons.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Proud Texan wrote:

This topic got me to thinking.   I may put a disclaimer on our "breakfast" page of our website stating that, while we try to accomodate dietary restrictions,  this should not be misconstrued that we are in any way keeping a kosher kitchen.

This has really not been a problem for us because of our geographic location,  but we had to make a similar statement to let people know that we are not ADA compliant.   As long as people know up front,  those that have dietary or other issues will go elsewhere. 

Send them to me! I need the business.

Proud Texan's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/30/2008

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

This topic got me to thinking.   I may put a disclaimer on our "breakfast" page of our website stating that, while we try to accomodate dietary restrictions,  this should not be misconstrued that we are in any way keeping a kosher kitchen.

This has really not been a problem for us because of our geographic location,  but we had to make a similar statement to let people know that we are not ADA compliant.   As long as people know up front,  those that have dietary or other issues will go elsewhere. 

Send them to me! I need the business.

 You can have them.   Most of this ilk are PITAs anyway.

birdwatcher's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2009

Well he finally called and it was as you expect -he said he is a vegetarian...and we quote:

 No pork or shellfish (so, for breakfast, no bacon or sausage)
- No meat and milk together

So...for breakfast, anything with eggs and cheese with fruit is OK.

So...we understand that he is "kinda" kosher or is trying to be, its all good-JUST TELL US WHAT YOU WANT thats all we ask. Dont wait THREE days to e-mail us back the answer-KISS is my perogative--but you know PITAS never do.

Thanks for all the advise so now we know that i cant mix the eggs with meat- duh! i just wont serve you meat ok?

muirford's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 And then there are the ones who just don't know what they're saying.  One husband said to me yesterday - my wife is a lacto-ovo vegetarian.  I asked because I know better than to trust that info - so she doesn't eat meat but she eats eggs and dairy?  No, she doesn't eat eggs and she uses soy milk.  (in my mind, I say - so, the opposite of a lacto-ovo vegetarian -she's a vegan).  That's when I asked what she prefers to eat for breakfast - that's much easier to handle.

__________________

Jeanne

There are no rules, just follow your heart. ~ Robin Williams

 

Weaver's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/24/2012

Every Jewish person's definition of Kosher can be different.  Eric or I or others for that matter may know what the laws of Kashrut are, but that does not mean that we (including those that have a mezuzah on our door) would know how you (insert guest here) choose to observe those laws. 

I have a bacon free household, but yes I will say it, I eat bacon when I go out.

My late inlaws were what were lovingly referred to as "Baltimore Kosher", and unless you lived in the Chesapeake Bay area you would have no clue.  They didn't mix meat and dairy, didn't eat pork, but they would when they went out eat crabs.  Their son wouldn't eat a pork chop or ham but loved bacon, said it was the only recognizable breakfast meat at the many hotels he had stayed in.  So go figure that one out.

Just as there are different kinds of vegetarians (those that will or will not consume dairy, fish or fowl) there are many different interpretations of Kosher.

I don't think in any way it offensive to simply ask a guest what they mean by Kosher Style vs what they mean by vegetarian.  And as stated already Kosher Style or Vegetarian can mean so many different things to so many different people. My personal policy in any business is to simply ask a question if I am unsure what the customer wants, sometimes I do this even when I am 99% sure. 

And as we have discussed before and Eric mentioned in this thread the gelatin thing is a whole other issue.  Ask 5 Rabbis and you will get 10 answers.  LOL

And does it really matter if the dietary restriction is Gluten Free, Kosher, Atkins, Lactose Free, or Vegan? 

And does it matter if that is by choice (cultural or religious) or due to an allergy?

In the end, imvho, it is about providing an outstanding guest experience, sometimes a simple question will go a long way toward everyone's happiness.

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

our objection is not to the restriction but the way people tell you about it - ie Kosher Style - guest should say I do not eat bacon but everything else is fine or whatever their definition is. If you have alergies etc just say what you can or cannot have don't try and make us puzzel it out! you have it and know very well what you can or cannot have just spell it out!!!! or the ones that don't tell you untill it is in front of them!

__________________

Don't mess with me today or I will kill you!!!!

 

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Basically they are saying "no meat", fish and dairy are fine. Essentially, pescatarians. By saying "style" they essentially mean that they don't eat kosher, they just don't mix meat and dairy and your dishes are fine.

One thing you need to watch for is gelatin, except for fish gelatin. (For example, Yoplait in the US is marked as being kosher and has gelatin, which means that it's fish gelatin, which is fine. Just no bovine or porcine gelatin.) The mark of the letter U in a circle is the general kosher mark in the US. You may see the more liberal K mark or KD for Kosher and Kosher Dairy. The word Parve means that an item has no dairy nor meat in it and is acceptable for either.

Oh and by fish, only those with scales, not seafood, not catfish. If you worry about it, just treat them as vegetarians.

Weaver's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/24/2012

Eric is right we have an ongoing debate in my house about gelatin.  Fish gelatin or vegetable gelatin are the only way to go.

I want to add that although my personal kitchen is kosher style or kosher esque, the inn's kitchen will not be.  We will serve bacon to those guests that want it.  But as habit and space/budget allows I will have meat and dairy dishes, as well as tref dishes.  Then I have all the bases covered and my kids, should they ever decide to come visit after leaving for college, will eat breakfast from the inn's kitchen and not dirty mine!

And thank you Eric I forgot to mention the scales part on the fish, was coming back to ammend my post to clarify.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

I think "Kosher-style" might just be letting you know No Pork. This is how I would take that. If he is Kosher he certainly wouldn't add style to it. Don't get upset over it, you ask they tell. Seriousely, I think you are reading much more into it than what he meant by Kosher-style. You will be just fine BW!

birdwatcher's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2009

Thanks-I did exactly that and camber-I would definantely NOT go out and buy pans for this ONE night stay-I e-mailed him again this morning-so we shall see, if he does not respond I will call him.

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

For 1 night - nope wouldn't bother but if say there was a full house booking for a week for a Jewish group then I would make the effort!

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

Honey I just had two jewish people from Israil and they had bacon butties every day! and I was all preped! The deal with the super Kosher people (my sister has some friends who do the strictest version) is they cannot eat vegetables which are cooked in a pan that has ever had meat in it ie even if it has been washed thoroughly. The easiest way to deal with it is to buy things prepacked ie muffins or bagles or if the booking is worth it buy some cheap pans for the time they spend there or if it is a market you wish to tap into - could be a marketing point? Most arnt that strict they simply ask for no pork which isn't difficult.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Cam, you are over thinking this. If they are strictly kosher, take my word for it, they wouldn't trust you to prepare their meals. My father, who keeps strictly kosher, travels to China with his food, which is dehydrated and simply needs to add hot water to it from a kettle. He even takes his own cutlery and his own dish. 

When my father comes, we buy new packages of food, break out the plastic cutlery and otherwise, he just has fruit.

Don't market to them. No point. They travel seldom and won't trust someone who isn't Jewish to vouch for their food.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

You did the best thing you could. If I received that I would have to tell the guest we do not keep a Kosher kitchen at all and that if he feels this would compromise his ability to stay with us we would understand if he needed to cancel. And then I would refer hi to a friend who DOES keep a kosher kitchen.

Your best bet is to wait for his response.

You could also Google search in your area for kosher delis and the like where he can eat. Which brings up the point, where will he eat dinner?

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Weaver's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/24/2012

I will chime in with my two cents.  I keep a kosher style home.  I have meat dishes and dairy dishes.  I do not have two sets of pots and pans nor do I have two refrigerators or dishwashers.  I do not shop at a kosher grocery, however I read every label of everythng I purchase.

I don't buy prepacked meat balls because most have cheese in them, I make from scratch.  Same for red sauce, most commercial varieties have cheese.  Which is fine if I am not serving meat with the pasta.

We have a pork free house.  No meat (except chicken/turkey/fish) is served on our dairy dishes, and no dairy containing products is served on our meat dishes.

One correction though, you can cook vegetables in a pan that has previously cooked meat if you intend on serving them with a meat dish.  Fruits, vegetables, eggs, breads (unless made with butter or milk) are parve.  Parve is neutral, it can be eaten with meat or dairy.

Most people that keep "Kosher Style" refer to NO PORK, NO mixing of meat and dairy on the same plate or at the same meal.  Most people who keep "glatt Kosher"( which actually means an animal which is kosher has smooth defect free lungs but is most commonly used to mean strict kosher) will at times depending on circumstances eat "Kosher Style".  Anyone who keeps strictly kosher will not stay or eat anywhere they feel their practices will be compromised, or they accept that "style" is acceptable, given that situation.

When I go out to eat with my kids be it a restaurant or to friends we accept that they do not have a kosher home/kitchen, therefore we keep "kosher style" in that we do not mix meat and dairy and do not consume pork, shellfish, or other "tref" (pronounced trayf).  Judaism is a very personal thing to many people and their level of observance may be different than the next person. 

If you prepare a meal, I am assuming breakfast here, just do as you always would and leave the meat out of it.  Most breakfast items are dairy based and therefore very little would need to be changed except no meat or meat by products if you are using any dairy based foods.  If you are going to serve eggs and potatoes, and the eggs have milk or cheese added in some way, do not fry the potatoes in bacon grease or serve a beef sausage.  Simple enough.

When in doubt ask how kosher is kosher style for that person.  Most will reply with no pork or shellfish, and don't mix meat and dairy on the same plate/meal.  As to whether chicken/turkey is meat or parve that is a whole other discussion. 

 

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Unless I have a mezuzah on my doorpost or specifically state on my website that we are kosher, no guest should expect me, a shiksa, to have any idea what 'kosher' or 'kosher style' means. Guests need to understand that I do not know their religious strictures and behave accordingly.

'No pork, no shellfish' or 'if you serve meat do not put dairy on my plate as well.' That's all I need to know. But 'kosher-style' means bupkus to me.

Why should I know this stuff? Guests need to own their restrictions and make it easy, not difficult, on the people they are dealing with.

 

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

I have a mezuzah on the door and I don't do kosher! If you tell me kosher style, you are treated like a vegetarian. The same way that I treat those who are Muslim who ask me for halal. The only thing I check is my yogurt, because some idiot decided that bovine gelatin made smoother yogurt, years ago. So, essentially, I buy the brands that don't have gelatin, simply because I don't want to have to worry about the vegetarians, the "kosher-style" or the halal people and it simplifies my world.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

I have a mezuzah on the door and I don't do kosher!

You don't do it but you know what it means. That's what I mean. No one should assume the innkeeper has any idea what any specifically-named diet is. Atkins? You have to tell me what part of the diet you're up to. Vegetarian? I'm going to assume you mean no 'meat' but I am not going to assume you mean no eggs or cheese.

'I'm pregnant' is another loaded statement. Yeah, so what. I've had kids and didn't change a thing about the way I ate. But now I have to 'know' that 'I'm pregnant' means a whole list of 'bad' foods that the guest can't eat because someone, somewhere decided pregnant women were too fragile to eat certain foods.

I want the guest to own their diets. They need to explain to me exactly what they cannot eat or they're going to get what we make that day. I guess I'm just saying that I'm not going to look it up. I'm not going to guess or mind read.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Maybe they should have explained it, better. Just assume the best, that they didn't understand that you wouldn't understand. I would then send an email saying... "I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by this, can you please be more specific." or conversely "I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by this, can I assume that a vegetarian breakfast will be acceptable?"

I hate the odd diet requests too. I would much prefer when people are 100% honest and tell me that they don't like berries or they don't like eggs, instead of the fake allergy nonsense.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Madeleine wrote:

Unless I have a mezuzah on my doorpost or specifically state on my website that we are kosher, no guest should expect me, a shiksa, to have any idea what 'kosher' or 'kosher style' means. Guests need to understand that I do not know their religious strictures and behave accordingly.

'No pork, no shellfish' or 'if you serve meat do not put dairy on my plate as well.' That's all I need to know. But 'kosher-style' means bupkus to me.

Why should I know this stuff? Guests need to own their restrictions and make it easy, not difficult, on the people they are dealing with. 

Let's clarify, it is CULTURAL, not necessarily religious. Just wanted to share that. and now I cross that line...but I am speaking CULTURALLY.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.