Archive for the 'kosher products' Category

20
Mar
14

A Conversation with Rachelle Kassai


rachelle-portraitThis evening at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTakRadio.com, we will be talking with owner/founder of Finchi’s by Aunt Rashi, Rachelle Kassai. Finchi’s offers a scrumptious variety of gluten, nut, sugar and dairy-free desserts, using only the finest European ingredients. Tonight, Mrs. Kassai will tell us what made her leave a successful path in the corporate world and pursue what she loves best.

Having tasted Finchi’s products over the last couple of years, I can attest to their truly being delicious and worthy of being offered at the finest banquets as well as at any family table.

Meanwhile in case you missed it, why not listen to last eve’s two-part broadcast with Chef Sara Black and Weight Management Counselor Vicki Rothschild.

Don’t forget to tune us in this evening at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTakRadio.com, when we will be talking with owner/founder of Finchi’s by Aunt RashiRachelle Kassai, for what promises to be an interesting conversation. We will be waiting for you.

CS

02
Jan
12

Soyummi


A Canadian company, Soyummi Canada, produces a line of gluten free, dairy free, low fat puddings. With purified water and organic whole beans as their main ingredients, Soyummi products come in five flavors: Dark Chocolate, Tapioca, Rice, Cherry and Lime.And… they are all vegan, as they are egg free, and have a natural prebiotic, a source of dietary fiber.

I recently came across these products at a local supermarket, where I picked up two flavors: Dark Chocolate and Tapioca.

I must admit, I was skeptical at first. Though I knew that soy is a very popular substitute for many, many ingredients, I had a tough time believing it would taste very chocolatey BUT… it did. I was pleasantly surprised and could easily see any child with a sweet tooth (which child, doesn’t have one?!?!?) becoming addicted. As a matter of fact, I can think of quite a number of grownups (yours truly included) who’ll like it as well! These products are certified Pareve by MK, (Jewish Community Council of Montreal) one of Canada’s most respected, most reliable hechsherim

According to their website, every flavor comes with:

  • No added sugar
  • Low calorie
  • Low carbohydrate
  • No trans fats
  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Contains a natural prebiotic
  • No preservatives
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose free
  • Cholesterol free
  • Kosher certified
  • Low sodium
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Non GMO
  • Contains isoflavones
  • Bioavailability of naturally balanced nutrients

In April of this year, their Dark Chocolate and Rice puddings were both nominated for the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award in the dessert food category, and on June 15, 2011, the Dark Chocolate pudding won second place in this contest. Also, in 2003, the original Soyummi Classic line won first prize in the same category.

Aside from being kosher certified, these products (certified organic and vegan) are healthy and delicious, made from all natural ingredients. What could be better for you or the kids?

CS

03
Oct
11

The Contests, so Far…


Because of many requests, we’ve extended our contests until October 31st. On the Jack’s Gourmet Contest, we are giving away $100.00 worth of Jack’s Gourmet Kosher sausages plus a Jack’s Gourmet baseball cap.

Jack's Gourmet is giving $100.00 in all 5 varieties of their sausages, plus a Jack's Gourmet baseball cap

What do you have to do to win all these? How about sending us your best recipes using Jack’s Gourmet kosher sausages. The contest runs through October 31st, winner will be chosen by Chef Jack Silberstein and Dr. Alan Bronner (Jack’s Gourmet owners) and will be announced on these pages on Monday November 14. send in your recipes to kosherscene@gmail.com. If you care to accompany your entry with a good photo of the finished dish, we’ll feature it right here on our blog. To get an idea of what we are looking for go here, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you’ll find some interesting recipes, including two of our own.

So far we’ve received 21 recipes ranging from less than mediocre to delicious and creative. We extended the contest as you, gentle reader, requested; why don’t you send those recipes? Show us your creativity!

As for our other contest, don’t forget to send us in your ideas for avoiding the back to school blues to: kosherscene@gmail.com. Why not send us photos of unusual and interesting lunchboxes?

We will publish the best photos and ideas and pick a winner who will receive:

  • 1 carton of juice boxes
  • 1 dozen assorted fruit roll-ups
  • 1 lunch box

Keep those recipes and ideas coming, gentle reader, get to work!

CS

23
Mar
11

And Tonight’s Guest Will be…


Last week was our inaugural radio show on our new venue. We had some sound problems, which is unfortunate because it was an interesting, informative show. Our guest was the very charming Kim Amzallag, Director of Sales and Marketing at Kosher Inspired Magazine. If you missed the show you can hear it here.

Yesterday afternoon, I picked up my own radio studio equipment which – hopefully – I will have mastered by this evening and thus avoid last week’s pitfalls. Our guest tonight will be Izzet Ozdogan, President of OSEM USA. OSEM is one of the major food producers in the world, while it is the biggest producer and exporter of kosher food, it is majority owned by Nestlé S.A. of Switzerland.

Izzet Ozdogan joined OSEM more than 25 years ago in Israel as its export manager when Osem exports were in its infancy. In the mid-1990s Izzet established Osem USA – in Englewood, NJ – became its president and moved to New Jersey

The company’s history, starting in 1942, often parallels the history of the State of Israel. We will discuss the objectives of the company’s founders, their vision, how that evolved and became a conglomerate offering hundreds of kosher products available globally.

We will also talk about their Kosher for Passover  items – some of them new – as well as some of the company’s iconic products which have gone on to represent Israeli food throughout the world. We will talk about the Israeli willpower and dedication that allows enterprises to flourish – against all odds – even while surrounded by bloodthirsty enemies.

Please tune in to what promises to be an informative and entertaining show here, at 8:00pm Eastern Time tonight, Wednesday, the 23rd of March.

We hope you’ll give us a listen!

CS

RELATED POST

Zeh Tov, Zeh Tov, Zeh OSEM!!!

04
Nov
10

You’ve Come a Long way, Baby! Kosher in America Today


[When I first came to the American shores in 1962 (from Uruguay, South America), there were only a couple of kosher food manufacturers available in Richmond, VA – where my parents settled at the time. As for wine, the only real kosher options were extra sweet and sweeter yet… 48 years later, the choice of kosher certified foods in supermarkets has grown exponentially and there is little that is not available. Kosher wines are manufactured around the globe and win international awards! What caused this phenomenal revolution, how did kosher go mainstream? To understand how it all happened I sat down, yesterday, with Menachem Lubinsky, President and CEO of Lubicom. A summary of our conversation follows.]

Menachem Lubinsky

The major factors contributing to the growth of the kosher industry are:

  • Natural growth
  • Dramatic improvements in packaging
  • Accessibility in supermarkets
  • Opportunities beyond traditional markets
  • Technology

The kosher consumer numbers have almost doubled in the last 20 years, with those under age 45 comprising over half of the total. More affluent neighborhoods convinced manufacturers that no segment of the market should be closed to them.

New advances in food production vastly improved the quality of kosher products. Packaging became more attractive and eye catching (as opposed to the old cellophane wrappers), an important ingredient in marketing and getting shelf space.

By expanding the kosher sections a new demographic of customers, with larger families, comes in and spends far more than the earlier smaller families. Certainly supermarkets pushed out smaller grocery stores – yet those who were willing to adapt to the new times and became more specialized in their offerings thrived. As a result, a lot of independents are opening today with choices not available in the larger stores, thereby expanding variety.

Muslims make up a large percentage of kosher consumers  because of their concerns over pork. In the bigger cities, where such are available, they are exhorted to use strictly halal stores and yet, they still come to kosher establishments. In smaller cities you can find them in the kosher isles of supermarkets. [Even at last week’s Kosherfest, there were Muslims. CS.]

Kosher products are slowly becoming mainstream, Middle Eastern treats like hummus are now commonplace throughout America. Bagels are not only available throughout most of the Western world and parts of Asia, but the word itself is now part of normal everyday parlance, whether here, most of Europe or even Japan. Eating kosher is no longer just a “Jewish thing,” it’s trendy!

And then, of course, there is the social media. A technology that is revolutionizing the flow of information at incredible speeds. Mr. Lubinsky witnessed its tremendous power at Pomegranate recently as he saw a lady tweeting the specials… Within a half hour, ten of her friends had joined her in shopping!

Yes, kosher has come an incredibly long way whether in number of items, the quality of restaurants and wines available. In 2008 kosher represented a $200 billion market as opposed to $150 billion in 2003. Many non Jews seek out kosher because they believe it to be safer, better, healthier.

[Prior and during his time at Lubicom, Mr. Lubinsky worked and continues to work extensively with both profit and non-profits. He has an M.B.A. in Marketing and Advertising from the Bernard Baruch College at City University of New York. He has received many prestigious awards and been honored by major organizations for his work and advocacy. As a major player in the field, he is the universally acknowledged expert on the matter of kosher marketing, its history and its growth.]

CS

02
Nov
10

Thank You!!


Photo by: Aquafornia

How time flies! When we started (on November 2nd, 2009) we were not sure if we’d still be blogging a year later. Would we get any regular readers? Would anybody really be interested in our thoughts? Could we say something, could we sound different, from far more established bloggers and existing websites? A 171 posts and a later later, we realize our hopes are slowly materializing. Most of the exhibitors we spoke to, at last week’s Kosherfest, had heard of us; an impressive number of them had actually seen and read these pages here and abroad.

We constantly meet people who follow our musings regularly. As beginning bloggers, who wondered for how long we would be able to post once or occasionally twice a week, we suddenly find a lot of material that interests our readership. We’ve been told our writing styles are refreshing, our photography mouth watering. Even non-Jewish publications and blogs have noticed us. But I must confide in you, IF we are any good at what we do it is only because we love our subject matter… we are foodies!

During this past year, we’ve sampled some of the top kosher eateries, (from Chinese to Middle Eastern cuisine, from Japanese to French, to Italian, to American, to Fusion, we’ve tasted them) met some amazing chefs – people full of creative energy and an uncanny understanding of the nuances of flavor. We’ve learned and continue learning a lot, about food, about wine; above all, as we forge new relationships with chefs, with restaurateurs, with manufacturers of kosher products, with cookbook authors, with winemakers around the world, etc., we are often told personal stories that prove that even those who excel at their craft are just humans like the rest of us. What drives them to succeed? What fuels their drive? Simple, it is their passion for food, their passion to prove that kosher need not be a second class cuisine. Yes, cooking kosher, manufacturing kosher products, may be a bit more challenging… but, it is precisely those challenges that spur them on, that excites their creative juices. Kosher has come a long way!!!

But what SYR and I are most grateful for, gentle reader – what helped us the most – were your suggestions, your words of encouragement.

What lies ahead is exciting, we plan many a contest for this upcoming year and are at this very moment negotiating the prizes. We plan on bringing you guest posts by well known Chefs, as well as outstanding recipes from professionals and from housewives who almost daily improve, create, or adapt delicious new dishes. We will also bring you reviews of amazing new products. And, of course, we will continue to review kosher restaurants and often we will write about our revisits to favorite eateries.

Right now and until November the 18th, we are running a contest based on recipes from any of Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design series. Send us your best photo of any of Susie’s 900 plus recipes and you may win her latest cookbook: Kosher by Design Teens and 20 Somethings, meanwhile you can download the complete recipe index at: http://bit.ly/KBDrecipeindex. Email us your best to:

kosherscene@gmail.com

Our first year was productive and we are proud of how we grew, but there is so much more to accomplish. Thank you, gentle reader, we could never have gotten here without you.

CS

26
Oct
10

Kosherfest: Day 1


Today was the opening day for Kosherfest at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, in Seacaucus (NJ). Not only was the number of exhibitors bigger than ever, but so was the attendance. There is no question that the kosher consumer is more and more demanding, both in the number of items as well as in their quality. I only stayed for a few hours, as I had prior obligations so I decided to go for some unusual or otherwise interesting items.

First, however, we decided to meet some of the cookbook authors we reviewed recently and had interviewed over the phone and on radio.

Paula Shoyer, Pastry Chef par excellence, cookbook author

Paula Shoyer, recently had her The Kosher Baker published by Brandeis University. It is one of the most beautiful kosher cookbooks both SYR or I have ever seen.

Susie Fishbein, the top kosher cookbook author and whose Kosher by Design series sold globally in numbers comparable to the world’s top cookbook authors was there too…

Susie Fishbein being interviewed, at the Kolatin gelatin booth by TJC TV

We reviewed a pre-publication copy of her newest – Kosher by Design Teens and 20 Somethings (due to hit the stores on October the 27th!) – yesterday.

Quite a few exhibitors used the occasion to launch new lines, among them we were happy to see that Lévana Kirschenbaum finally and officially put her new bakery products on the market. At the beginning of the summer SYR and I were among the exclusive few who got to taste these delicacies…

Lévana demostrating her new products

As I searched for unusual products, I spotted these unusual bottles of Tequila…

Kah Tequila... guaranteed to get your attention!

I then tasted the middle bottle of the Agave 99 line…

Smooth and flavorful

Next I did a tasting of the Secreto line of wines from Argentina.

Secreto - Vinos kasher de Argentina

I first tried their Malbec (80% Malbec – Argentina’s most famous wine grape – and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon); I followed it with their Cabernet Sauvignon (80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Malbec); next I tried their Trivarietal (50% Bonarda, 25% Malbec and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon). I found all three to be excellent selections, especially in their price range ($10-$12).

I then saw a line of medicinal teas from Spain, Helps by Pharmadus.

A nice line of special teas for children, women's needs, and a whole lot more.

Next we saw Tammy Polatskek‘s new line of superbly designed dishes under the Carmona label.

Beautiful, unusual, contemporary

Beautiful, contemporary shapes that will greatly enhance the pleasure of any meal, the beauty of any table.

Before we left we passed by the booth of Happy Hearts Wine

Some great wines from some of Israel's smaller wineries...

They distribute Israeli wines from from small boutique wine producers like, Odem Mountain Winery, Or Haganuz Winery, the Mony Estate Vineyards, Dovev Winery, Hameshubach Winery, and the Efrat Winery. Their selections were quite good, I was familiar with some of their labels already.

We didn’t cover as much as we would have liked, especially after some very interesting products we sa, but I’m going back tomorrow and I expect to cover far more ground.

CS




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