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Dairy Dos and Don'ts at Purim

April 01, 1998

Every year, the Food section publishes Purim recipes by Judy Zeidler, your "30 Minute Kosher Cooking" expert ("The Sweetest Day," March 4). And every year I cringe as I read the dairy ingredients.

Butter, milk and ice cream are all kosher by nature but are not recommended for Purim, a Jewish holiday celebrated by exchanges of food and a festive meal. Because kosher food laws require Jews to wait six hours after eating meat products before eating milk-laden recipes, Zeidler's desserts are problematic as gifts and within the festive meal.

The Purim meal is traditionally highlighted with a nice meat dish, making it nearly impossible to enjoy a dairy hamentaschen at the same sitting. And giving the pastries as gifts is not a good idea because the assumption is that such a dessert is nondairy so that it may be eaten at a meat meal and, thus, what will inevitably happen is that someone will end up eating it within the six-hour period, not realizing that the hamentaschen is actually dairy.

RABBI HERSHEL REMER

Former senior field supervisor

Western U.S. Kashrus Division

Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Los Angeles

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