How the Chief Rabbi brought home bacon


In recent years we've highlighted an airline serving bacon on a flight to Israel and an Israeli cookbook offering recipes dedicated to pig delicacies. But such upsets could be a thing of the past, thanks to the efforts of Israel's Ashkenazi chief rabbi.

While Rabbi Yona Metzger has not agreed to overturn the biblical requirement for us not to dine on treife, he is leaning towards allowing us to eat something that tastes like it.

The Chief Rabbi's Office in Jerusalem is planning to allow the import from Spain of organic goose that tastes suspiciously hammy, but can still be killed under the laws of shechitah.

The similarity in taste has been confirmed - at Rabbi Metzger's request - by three non-Jewish chefs.

And while for Jews, eating pork is forbidden, there is no rule in kashrut that prohibits eating goose, no matter of what it reminds diners.

Rabbi Metzger's spokesman, Avi Blumenthal, said that the rabbi was determined to make sure that Israel's religious authorities accepted the goose plan.

The main obstacle to Israelis enjoying a neo-treife Friday night dinner is waiting for the geese to reach the sufficient weight to be killed.

However the mission might end up as a wild goose chase. Angry religious Israelis set fire to a deli in Netanya in 2007 because it sold pork.

In July, Orthodox shoppers in New York expressed outrage when they discovered "kosher pork" on sale in a deli. It turned out that the "kosher" pork spare ribs and pork cutlets had been labelled incorrectly.

For the Chief Rabbi's Office, it is a win-win situation.

Observant Jews who have always wondered what pork tastes like can find out, courtesy of the kosher goose; while non-observant Jews who might ordinarily have eaten the real thing will be able to get their piggy food kicks, via those obliging Spanish geese.

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