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My Worst Flight - Horrified at 30,000 Feet
|Plus: Refrigerator & Oven Shabbos Concerns, Inside the Meat Industry, Vegan Restaurants, Who’s Saying Kosher?, What’s New In Scotch Whisky?, Shechita Challenges in the UK|
My Worst Flight -I can’t believe that I am actually writing this!
I never thought it could happen, especially to me. I am the fellow who is always so careful that I book my dental appointments a month in advance. I arrive super early for my flights, and I look down when I walk. But, it did happen, and there is no going back.
I was on my way home to Israel from a brief visit to the U.S., my native land. I had arrived at the airport, as always, with plenty of time for my flight. I passed security uneventfully, my bags were checked, and I got my boarding pass, all with plenty of time to sit and learn before my flight. I boarded the plane and watched all the others take their seats. The captain announced take-off ,and
I started counting the 10 hours and 35 minutes till we would land in Tel Aviv.
We were up in the air for a few hours when I heard the stewardesses announce that the meals were coming through. I was asked if I get a kosher meal and I answered in the affirmative. A piping hot meal was set down before me. I recognized the name of the caterer and saw the clear kosher symbol of the kashrus agency certifying that caterer. And then, being quite hungry, I ripped off the packaging, took my fork and dived right in.
The taste of the food was definitely different; it was something that I was not used to. I couldn’t place it.
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Help From “Across The Pond” for Refrigerator & Oven Shabbos Concerns -In the March 2016 issue of KASHRUS Magazine (“Refrigerators on Shabbos,” Vol. 36, No. 3, p.45), we featured a complete discussion of the Shabbos/Yom Tov concerns regarding refrigerators. Since then, a number of articles have been written on the topic.
The “OU” did a feature story with inside information from those who repair refrigerators (2016 Passover Guide, p. 40). It is available now at https://tinyurl.com/jkvwfcs. Also, in the upcoming “OU” Pesach Guide, The “OU” plans to publish another article announcing a new GE product called “Shabbos Keeper,” which will be endorsed by OU, as well as CRC, Rav Shlomo Miller and Rav Mordechai Gross.
Rabbi J. David Bleich wrote a review of the recent halachic literature referring to the Shabbos concerns with refrigerators (Refrigerators on Shabbat, Tradition Vol. 50, No. 1, Spring 2017, p. 54-85 ).
And, most recently, the Beis Din of the Federation of Synagogues in London, England has been publishing a series of articles on the topic.
“FedTech” of the Federation of Synagogues
Excerpts from FedTech’s Guides
Assessing issues relating to direct interaction with the appliance:
Assessing issues relating to indirect interaction with the appliance
This article was prepared with assistance from Rabbi Yisroel Moshe Guttentag, head of the Federation of Synagogues FedTech initiative, London England.
What’s New in Scotch Whisky? -Scotch malt whisky is made from two key ingredients: barley and water. Right?
Wrong! That was the exclusive way it had been for 150 years or more, but, as of now, the game is changing. In the good old days, the production of Scotch malt whisky involved several stages including barley production, grain trading and storage, malting, distilling, bonded storage, bottling and sale. That was it, plain and simple. And rabbis, even those with very long beards, permitted drinking it without necessitating any kosher supervision.
Then came Macallan Highland Single Malt Whisky. They were the first to publicly proclaim the use of sherry casks to perfect “the bouquet” of their single malt Scotch whisky. Some rabbis became concerned, but they permitted the blended scotch whisky.
In today’s world, most rabbis in this country show concern for liquor produced in sherry or other wine casks, although many rabbis elsewhere continue to be lenient.
That was the way it all was until now.
The big news is change. People are constantly trying to improve on a good thing. And the biggest area of change is infusion.
Infusion of liquor is when you take a liquor and mix it with vegetables or spices to infuse the taste into the liquor. Then you discard the spices, strain, and enjoy.
The new idea today is that companies are making infused Scotch whisky and promoting it with the description that it is Scotch whisky. For example, Compass Box Whisky Co. makes a product called Orangerie Scotch Whisky Infusion.
Located in seemingly incongruous London England, Compass Box is not a Scottish distiller, but a blender of Scottish whiskies, combining the casks from Islay, Speyside and the Highlands, and aging them in “a variety of woods from sherry casks to toasted French oak.”
But the sherry wine casks are not the only problem with Orangerie. Compass Box infuses smooth, sweet Scotch whisky with the hand-zested peel of Navalino oranges, and subtle accents of Indonesian cassia bark and Sri Lankan Cloves. A blend of Highland single malt and single grain whisky from Fife, it shows notes of freshly peeled oranges, Xmas cake spices and vanilla. Sounds like it needs a kosher supervision, but it does not have one.
Compass Box is not alone. On January 24, 2018, the Wall Street Journal featured an article entitled, “If You’re a Purist About Scotch Whisky, You Might Find This Hard to Swallow.” Saabira Chaudhuri detailed the efforts of Diageo PLC to challenge hundreds of years of tradition in the making of Scotch. Diageo is a British multinational company, the maker of Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Seagram's, Talisker, J&B, etc. — the largest distiller of Scotch in the world.
In 2003, Diageo slapped the name of one of its single-malt Scotches onto a blended Scotch. Diageo called it a “pure malt.” The Eden Mill Distillery in St. Andrews, Scotland, asked the Scotch Whisky Association in 2016 to allow it to use chocolate malt to make its Scotch.
Diageo wants to develop “Scotch whisky infusion,” a new category of flavored or low-alcohol blends sold under existing Scotch brands.
So, we see that kosher supervision for the liquor industry is not a bad idea after all.
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