December 3, 2012

More International Foods Headed to Kosher Shelves

SECAUCUS, NJ — If Kosherfest 2012 was any indication, the kosher consumer in North America will be subjected to a new shelf presence by international products that are certified kosher. Kosherfest attendees were treated to international food creations as varied as Pho Vietnamese broth to Mexican tostados to Philippine coconut oil to Australian toffee to Greek Yogurt. 

In addition to Israel, Argentina and the Philippines had major pavilions at the kosher food trade show. This eruption of kosher food around the globe has as much to do with increased food production as it has to do with the expanding palates of traditional kosher consumers. Many kosher consumers are shaking off the cobwebs of bagels and lox and opening their arms to a whole new way of cooking, say kosher food experts. 

Del Campo Tacos was founded several years ago by Moshe Shvarsblat, together with his wife Minna and son Chayim. Del Campo produces authentic, gluten-free, all-natural corn tortillas. ‘I wanted to be able to provide the Mexican-American-Jewish community with genuine Mexican food that actually tasted like the original,’ Moshe said. ‘The problem is, when we introduced this product 3 years ago, many people didn’t know what to do with it- they thought it was just another wrap.’ Chayim Shvarsblat explained that the company exhibited at Kosherfest 2012 because they hoped to “educate” the American-Jewish public on the many uses of corn tortillas- melt them with cheese and dip in salsa, grill them with chili and vegetables, or toast them for a snack- the possibilities are endless.

Another groundbreaker this year was the Pho Vietnamese broth by Eatem Foods of Vineland, NJ, which The Huffington Post named one of the top 12 most interesting products at this year’s Kosherfest. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup usually served with chicken or beef, and it considered one of Vietnam’s national foods. The broth for Pho is generally made by simmering beef bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, charred ginger and spices. The one at Kosherfest, however, was 100 percent Kosher Pareve. It had a unique ginger taste and was certainly a crowd favorite. The broth was created by an American culinary student inspired by traditional Vietnamese tastes. 

Kosher food sources say that the number of international foods on kosher shelves continues to grow as more companies find importers and prices are increasingly competitive.