To be accepted as kosher, certain foods which are completely cooked by a non-Jew (bishul akum) may not be eaten, even if the foods are kosher and are cooked with kosher utensils. Ruth Pretty calls on a local Rabbi to sanction the food for the times she has catered Jewish events in Wellington (this was for a Bar Mitzvah).
Foods that generally come under the category of bishul akum are:
- Foods that cannot be eaten raw, such as meat or grains. (This excludes foods that can be eaten either cooked or raw, such as apples or carrots.)
- Foods that are considered important, “fit to set upon a king’s table.” There are various opinions regarding what are considered “royal foods.”
The key is for the Rabbi to participate in the cooking in a meaningful way in order to render the food kosher. If a non-Jew cooked the food alone, without Jewish participation, the food and utensils are not regarded as kosher.
These photos were taken with 35mm film and I can’t help thinking they have a natural and organic feel, resonating well with the Koshering.