Kosher food is selected and prepared in accordance with kashrut, the set of Jewish dietary laws. The following are some principles of kosher cooking:
- Kosher meats include mammals that both have cloven hooves and chew their cud; because pigs aren’t ruminants, and horses lack cloven hooves, they aren’t considered kosher.
- Fish are kosher; shellfish and other aquatic animals are not.
- Herbivores are kosher; carnivores aren’t.
- Animals must be slaughtered in a specific way.
- Utensils used to prepare non-kosher food cannot be used in the preparation of kosher food.
- Some foods, including wine and cheese, must be prepared by Jews.
- Meat and dairy may not be consumed at the same meal.
Kosher foods are divided into 3 categories: meat, dairy, and parve (also spelt pareve). Parve derives from the Yiddish word for ‘neutral’, and since it contains neither meat nor milk, it can be eaten with either. Examples of parve foods are fruit, vegetables, fish, eggs, and grains.