Monday, August 2, 2010

A Kosher Feast In Jerusalem: Udder Of Cow, Sparrow Soup, And Fried Locusts For Dessert

Kosher locusts:  A yummy dessert
Last week in Jerusalem, 250 Orthodox Jews sat down to an 18-course feast of kosher-but-you-wouldn't have guessed it dishes.  The meal was the result of 28 years of work by a dentist from Efrat and a neuroscientist from Beit Shemesh, searching for species or parts of animals that Jews don't eat today but are actually kosher.

The menu included udder of cow, a spongy and creamy delicacy, which is recommended by the Talmud for anyone who wants to experience a taste similar to meat in milk without breaking Jewish law.

The event was billed as The Mesora (Tradition) Dinner, to emphasize its purpose of maintaining the tradition of which animals have been considered kosher through the ages so we can continue to eat them now and in the future.

One of the more interesting items served was the shibuta, a fish of the carp family that tastes like pork, and which lives in the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that run through Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

As Nathan Jeffay reported in The Jewish Daily Forward,
Shibuta:  The fish that tastes like pork.
This is thought to be the barbus grypus, a kind of large freshwater carp. Research by the organizers indicated that this was the first time that shibuta had been served at a kosher meal in Israel since the First Temple era.
For diners at the $100-a-head meal of unusual fare, the evening was a chance to expand horizons. “I think we all deal with the question of kashrut, and for the most part we feel a little limited by kashrut laws,” said Zvi Klein, a physician from Beit Shemesh. He said that “people are looking for a new taste experience within the laws. They don’t want to eat nonkosher, but are looking to taste new things.”
Other items on the menu included water buffalo, swordfish, guinea fowl, pheasant, and sparrow, dove and pigeon soup.  For dessert, the diners were served fried locusts.

In the video below, a diner demonstrates the fine art of eating a fried locust.  Enjoy!


  1. Tsk,Tsk. Fried foods are so unhealthy!! ;-)

    Sharon M.

  2. I thought we were supposed to stop eating bugs at age 3...ewww