Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Absinthe Pernod, Kashrus, and Passover

I just called the Kashrus Department of The London Beis Din, KLBD, at +44 20 8343 6255. The KLBD site lists two Pernod absinthes, "Absinthe 40% Vol" and "Absinthe 68% Vol", as being kosher (and parve). I asked the gentleman who answered what alcohol they use. He asked me why I want to know, and I told him that I want to know if I can keep them at home during Pesach. He answered that he couldn't give me too much detail, since the information they get from the manufacturer is covered by a confidentiality agreement, but he does have a full list of ingredients. His answer to my question was quite clear, if a little cagy, as he warned me it would be: The Pernod absinthes listed definitely contain grain - I assume that this means that they are distilled from grain alcohol, which was my original question - and "they would have to be sold on Pesach".

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Liquor on Passover (Pesach)

A search of the 'Net shows many people with questions about hard liquor for Pesach, and few clearly sourced answers.  Some people may find these answers helpful.  (And some may not.)

La base pour le Calvados c'est uniquement le Cidre qui est produit par
brassage de Pommes à Cidre. 
J'espère avoir répondu à votre question.
[name deleted] - Secrétariat / Comptabilité
Interprofession Des Appellations Cidricoles
Immeuble Citipolis - 6, Place Boston
14200 Hérouville Saint Clair
Tél. 02 31 53 17 60 - Fax 02 31 53 78 09

>----- Original Message -----
>Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2013 2:20 PM
>Subject: Question sur calvados
>C'est possible qu'il y aura en calvados des produits de grains?

In other words, the organisation of cider- and calvados- manufacturers says that  calvados is made from apples only, and can contain no grain products.  For further information, their contact form is at .

Update from :BACARDI
3/28/2013 8:49:29 AM
Bacardi Superior Rum is destiled from cane sugar, and has no grain. Further to that,
note that Bacardi Superior sold in Israel is certified kosher at our factory.
Best Regards,
Constantinos Kouvaras
Area Manager East Med
Bacardi Ltd
>Original Comment:
>3/18/2013 6:52:36 PM
>Does Bacardi white label rum contain any grain products?

Bacardi's answer speaks for itself.  One of their many contact forms is at .

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Some Strictly Kosher Restaurants in London

Having listed a list of strictly kosher restaurants I have tried in Paris, I decided to do the same for London.

YMMV, both as to kashrus and taste. This information was up-to-date as of our last trip to London in June, 2009, but always call to check first.

  • The Center for Jewish Life
    • Media House, 4 Stratford Place, London W1C 1AT (Central London)
      020 7495 6089
    • The food is all prepackaged from Grodzinski, i.e., Kedassia. I asked and was told that the milk for the coffee is halav Yisroel.
    • Sandwiches, salads, coffee, etc.
    • This place is some sort of Jewish everything center which also has food. It's a gem. The people are friendly and will leave you alone, there is really excellent machine coffee - figure that one out - and even the prepackaged sandwiches are good. The room which serves as a coffee shop is also a beis midrash with wood paneling and modern editions of some standard books (as well as some HaBaD books), and is a good place not only for a snack, but to hide out for a while from the stress of being a tourist, or while one's wife is wandering the local super-stores.

  • Kaifeng
    • 51 Church Road Hendon London NW4 4DU (Hendon)
      020 8203 7888
    • LBD "Glatt Mehadrin"
    • Chinese
    • The food is passable. The almost-Peking duck is an interesting idea, but the duck itself was overcooked on two separate occasions.

  • La Fiesta
    • 239 Golders Green Road, NW11 9PN (Golders Green)
      020 8458 0444
    • LBD "Glatt Mehadrin"
    • Grill; they call it Argentine.
    • Good meat, which they indeed grill according to your instructions.

  • Mattancherry
    • 109a Golders Green Road, NW11 8HR (Golders Green)
      020 8209 3060
    • Kedassia
    • Indian
    • I liked the food; my wife didn't.

  • Novellino
    • 103 Golders Green Road London NW11 8EN (Golders Green)
      020 8458 7273
    • LBD Dairy
    • Dairy. Mainly fish, pasta, and other Italian-style.
    • We both liked this one very much, even though I don't normally like anything which isn't meat-based. They have a particularly large and good selection of wines and alcohol, and someone respectable-looking enough to pour the wine.

  • Milk n Honey
    • 124 Golders Green Road, London, NW11 8HB (Golders Green)
      020 8455 0664
    • Kedassia
    • Dairy. Light meals, cakes, and espresso-based coffees.
    • Friendly people. We had breakfast and/or an afternoon snack here frequently.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Some Strictly Kosher Restaurants in Paris

Now that GeoCities is about to close down, it seems likely that David Cohen's site on the kosher restaurants of Paris will disappear (though I suppose that he may move it elsewhere). It thus seems like a good time for me to list some of the Parisian restaurants which I feel that I can depend on as far as kashrus supervision goes, and which I have tried.

YMMV, both as to kashrus and taste. This information was up-to-date as of our last trip to Paris in 2007, but always call to check first.

  • Micky's Deli
    • 23bis rue des rosiers
      01 48 04 79 31
    • Rav Rottenberg
    • Frenchified American grill: hamburgers, ribs, etc.
    • The food is excellent, but very informal. Don't expect to start your next seduction here (unless of your own wife, maybe). Can be have long lines at lunchtime, but they may take reservations for all I know. They also have another branch, but we've never been there.

  • Essen Bench
    • 8 rue Pavee
      01 42 71 50 00
    • Rav Rottenberg
    • General dairy
    • The food was once excellent, but last time we were there they had obviously been bought up by someone, and the food was awful. The decor is strange and interesting, mixing quick cafeteria, Paris bistro, and Habad motifs. Very crowded at lunchtime.

  • Korcarz
    • 29 rue des rosiers
      01 42 77 39 47
    • Rav Rottenberg
    • One side is general dairy; the other is a boulangerie and patisserie for both buying out and eating there
    • Good food, lovely cakes, good cafe au lait and (Twinings teabag) teas, good everything. Very crowded at lunchtime. They also have another branch, but we've never been there.

  • Le Beverly
    • 48 passage du Caire
      01 40 26 23 39
    • HaBad
    • Grill, ribs, etc. Also ask about the daily special.
    • Hard to find, but it's there. The neighborhood is interesting: the Paris garment district seems to be mainly occupied by ultra-Orthodox Jews and prostitutes, mostly elderly, in what can only be called costumes. Service at the Beverly is very friendly. Can be crowded. Has a selection of small bottles of good everyday wines, for people whose spouses often refuse wine. They also prepare and send to your hotel good Shabbos meals.

  • Chez Jonathan
    • 24 rue du Faubourg-Montmartre
      01 48 24 03 83
    • HaBad? (I don't really remember.)
    • Israeli grill and salads
    • Another strange neighborhood, which this time includes the Folies Bergère, some other rather doubtful places of entertainment, and many Jewish businesses. The food at Chez Jonathan was the worst we ate in France: The meat was dreadfully over-salted and otherwise seemed to be seasoned with some kind of ready-mix based heavily on MSG.

  • Darjeeling
    • 1 rue des Colonels Renard
      01 45 72 09 32
    • Rav Rottenberg
    • Indian
    • A good, upscale restaurant. Can be crowded, but reservations are accepted. This was the only place where I felt comfortable letting them pour my wine according to their usual routines: The mashgiach does it, and he looked very respectable.

  • Darjeeling, The Boutique
    • 39 rue Davy
      01 42 26 35 35
    • Rav Rottenberg
    • Indian
    • Same ownership and food as Darjeeling, above. I don't know whether they also have a real restaurant, or whether it is only take-out and deliveries. We had them send to our hotel.

  • Sushi-somethingorother
    • 33 rue des laitiers
      94300 Vincennes
      01 58 64 14 14
    • Rav Rottenberg?
    • Sushi, Japanese, Thai, and Chinese
    • Very informal. Passable food. They say they deliver, but we never got around to trying their delivery service.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Japanese Comfort Food

Haruki Murakami's characters are the kind of Japanese who always drink coffee, never tea, and who have scrambled eggs, juice, and toast for breakfast. Here are two incidental references to the quick snacks they make for themselves at home, from Dance Dance Dance (ISBN 0099448769):

Scallions tossed with salt-plum. Wakame seaweed and shrimp vinaigrette. Wasabi preserves and grated daikon with sliced fish mousse. Slivered potatoes in olive oil and garlic with minced salami. Homemade cucumber pickles. Yesterday's hijiki seaweed plus tofu garnished with heaps of ginger. (p. 286)

I boiled water for tea, tossed together some crumbled nori and salt-plum and wasabi horseradish, topped two bowls of rice with the mixture, and poured tea over each. O-chazuke. Yum. (p. 292)

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