The Jewish faith has many important traditions. One of these is eating kosher food. For a Gentile, navigating the complexities of kosher and non-kosher can be something of a minefield. The last thing you want to do is offend your Jewish friends and family by giving them an unsuitable gift, yet following traditions shows that you respect the recipient’s Jewish heritage.
There are certain rules to keep in mind when purchasing gifts for Jewish friends and families. To help you make the right decision and ensure your gift is welcomed with open arms, read on for some helpful advice.
The Rules of Kosher
“Kosher” means “appropriate” or “fit”. Kosher food may or may not have been blessed by a Rabbi, but if it follows the prescribed practices of Kashrut, it is kosher.
There are three categories of kosher food: meat, dairy, and pareve, or neutral. Meat and dairy are self-explanatory, but pareve includes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, etc. In addition, meat must be slaughtered in a kosher, or more humane, way.
When looking for kosher gifts, you need to remember that meat, dairy, and pareve must not be mixed. This means any gift containing both meat and dairy is not kosher. Manhattan Fruitier offers beautiful kosher gift baskets featuring seasonal fresh fruit, kosher chocolate, babka, nougat, and honey! These baskets are perfect for any occasion.
What are Kosher Gifts?
Kosher gifts are usually identified by special symbols, which makes it easier to ensure you don’t inadvertently buy a non-kosher gift and cause offense. However, if giving a kosher gift for a special holiday, for example, at a Hanukah celebration, you should check whether the meal is dairy-based or meat-based, so you can buy a suitable gift. Otherwise, the recipient must wait six hours to enjoy the gift.
Kosher Holiday Traditions
Jewish holidays such as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah often have their own gift traditions. For example, it is customary to give fruit baskets at Tu B’Shvat and dairy-based gifts such as kosher cheese baskets on Shavuot. Purim is a time for the celebration of kinship, so give your friends some tasty kosher ready-to-eat snacks.
Ideal Kosher Gifts
You should choose your kosher gifts carefully, but there are some great gift ideas if you’re stuck for what to buy your Jewish friends and family.
- Kosher Chocolate – Gourmet kosher chocolate is perfect for a dairy-based celebration. I defy anyone to be disappointed with a box of gourmet chocolate treats!
- Kosher Candy – Kosher candy is another great choice for anyone with a sweet tooth. Children will love kosher chocolate pretzels, lollipops, and taffy.
- Kosher baked goods – Look for kosher baked pies and cakes that are dairy-free, so they can be gifted for any celebration. So long as you stick to the kosher guidelines, you can create a tasty chocolate cake that’s dairy-free.
- Challah – Traditional Challah braided Challah bread is always welcomed. You can pick up Challah bread from a Jewish bakery or have a go at making your own.
Other Kosher gift ideas include rugelach pastries, kosher wine, matzah ball soup, and latke crisps.