May 25, 2021

Chief Rabbinate in Israel Adopts US Facon Designation

Jerusalem…A strictly kosher restaurant serving lamb bacon was ordered to change the name to “Facon,” so as not to confuse customers. Jack’s Gourmet in Brooklyn has long called its product Facon, which visitors to Kosherfest are no doubt aware of. On its web site, Jack’s Gourmet says: “Smoky and salty, this dry-cured beef tastes and cooks up just like the real thing! Whether you serve it atop a juicy burger, sprinkled over a salad or cooked into a pasta sauce, your food will take on a new depth of flavor that will have you coming back for more.” In Jerusalem’s Machne Yehuda Market, the Crave Gourmet Street Food, announced that it reluctantly changed the name of its famous lamb bacon to “facon” in accordance with a recent decision by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. On its menu are items like lamb bacon and vegan cheese. Other Jerusalem restaurants have followed suit by using vegan cheeses on their kosher burgers, as well as serving beef or lamb bacon—the latter a fan favorite that can be found on Crave’s BLT sandwich.

Indeed, Rabbi Shmuel Zemelman, kashrut supervisor and head of the Rabbinate’s Jerusalem Kashrut department, explained to JNS that the Rabbinate only learned about the word “bacon” when they received “sharp complaints from foreigners, who asked us how we could give a hechsher to a place that uses the word bacon. … They were in utter shock, because bacon is pork, and called it disgusting.” The Rabbinate hopes that Facon will end the confusion.