One of my clients is an Orthodox Jewish woman who has a son who proposed one of the most difficult questions I had been asked in a my culinary career, “What is you all-time favorite non-kosher dish?”. I was stumped, there were some many images swirling through my mind I found it difficult to give a single answer.
For those of you who are unfamiliar to Kosher Law, it basically breaks food down into three categories: Meat, Dairy, and Parve. When it comes to meat, any land animal with a split hove and chews it’s cud or any bird that is not a predator like a chicken or duck is considered Kosher. As for the Dairy category, it is self explanatory, milk or any other dairy product is Kosher. Parve is comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs; while the Meat and Dairy can never be served together, parve is neutral and can be used in either one. There are many different sects of Judaism and the one that this particular family belongs to believe that fish is not necessarily a meat and can be served with dairy products. There are restrictions to seafood, it must be a fish with scales, three fins, and cannot be a bottom feeder(ex: Tilapia, Salmon, Sea Bass = Kosher/ Clams, Shrimp, Catfish = Non-Kosher).
So, because I couldn’t put one dish above all others, I decided to a list of my top 7 favorite non-Kosher foods.
1. Bacon: Pork
Of course this is my number one. Salty crispy bacon is a culinary mulligan, add it to anything and it instantly makes it better.
2. Paella: Pork, bottom feeder and scale-less seafood
One of my favorite foods of all time, and one of my favorites to make. With the combination of land and sea animals coming together to make a plate of indescribable awesome flavors and textures, it is a sin not to love it.
3. Hot Dog: Pork
As long as it is pork, I am a happy man. Whether they are topped with mustard, sour kraut, chili & cheese, or just plain it is a childhood staple that I still enjoy to this day.
4. Beef Lasagna: Meat and Dairy dish
For me it is ultimate sign of gluttony, just layer after layer of pasta meat and cheese and it is always made in large amounts.
5. Pepperoni Pizza: Pork, Meat and Dairy dish
If I had my way and cholesterol and high blood pressure didn’t exist I could see myself enjoying a pizza on a regular basis.
6. Fried Calamari: Scale-less fish (cephlapod)
I think you could deep fry about 95% of the sea animals and they would taste great, Calamari is no exception.
7. BBQ Pork Ribs:
I think it is a crime to live in Texas and not have pork ribs at least once. It is amazing how there are very few things a person has to do to pork ribs to make them fall off the bone, almost like it was meant to be, and who want’s to mess with fate?