August 12, 2013

Am I Really Being Deprived of a “Cheeseburger?”

Every so often I bump into someone who seems to be “dying for a cheeseburger.” I am not sure why someone who eats kosher would actually be “dying” for a cheeseburger but let’s assume that we can give the old Jewish question an answer with a question, “why not?” 

I thought that I might get my chance in Buenos Aires, which has the only glatt kosher McDonald’s, but it was not to be. They did not sell the pareve cheese, so my first Big Mac was without the cheese. My next opportunity came at the magnificent new Marlins Stadium at Kosher Korner. Well, while the knish and hot dog were great, I found out that I can live without the (pareve) cheese on a burger. 

So just when I thought that I had gotten the cheeseburger out of my system came the announcement of the in “cultured” or “in vitro” meat that has been grown in petri dishes with the use of animal muscle tissue or stem. Once again there seemed to be joy in cheeseburger land (this time with real cheese) since most rabbis are not considering the “meat” meat. It doesn’t matter that the new meat is expensive to produce and the initial taste tests indicate that it is far from the juicy taste of a real burger but oh, the thought of a kosher cheeseburger.

For now, I believe that I fully suppressed my appetite for the cheeseburger. In fact, I’d rather prefer not to see cheese or its imitation in any burger for the sake of not confusing anyone about the strict prohibition of milk and meat. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for making anything that can be made kosher as kosher but not at any price, including creating the perception that milk and meat can mix under the right circumstances. I would find it increasingly difficult to educate children that kosher has its “exceptions.”