This post first appeared as “A Boureka Nightmare” on The Jew and the Carrot blog at the Forward.
Lovers of bourekas, one of Israel’s national foods, had better brush up on their geometry. The Chief Rabbinate has issued new guidelines on the shapes of the pastry pockets — and no, we’re not kidding.
Until now, consumers have relied on signage by storeowners or package labels to discern among meat, dairy and pareve bourekas, which closely resemble turnovers, only with greasier dough. Now, the kashrut authority is apparently trying to standardize things across the country to keep consumers from accidentally breaking kosher laws.
A letter sent by the Chief Rabbinate to factories and bakeries states that beginning August 7, all kosher-certified dairy bourekas made from puff pastry must be triangular, while non-dairy or pareve ones must be square or rectangular in shape. Oh, and, there are different rules for bourekas encased in phyllo dough. These ones must be triangular or spiral shaped if they are non-dairy, and round or cigar shaped if they contain dairy. It’s all enough to give grown adults scary middle school math exam flashbacks.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.