What goes in a Kosher gift basket?

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Safe and certified treats are what goes in a Kosher gift basket

Putting together a gift of Kosher foods for a Jewish friend is thoughtful, but you should know it does come with some strict guidelines. Ensure your recipient will be able to enjoy every item by first learning what qualifies as Kosher.

Jewish law has three elements to maintaining a Kosher diet. Non-Kosher land animals include those that don't have cleft hooves and chew their cud this eliminates most birds. Meat and dairy are not to be eaten together. Meat must be slaughtered and drained of blood in a particular way.

Today many items that are acceptable will be labeled so. Products that are certified will have a K in the center a circle, triangle, star or other symbol.

Making or choosing a Kosher gift basket is fun, especially if you simply avoid meat or purchase a filled basket prepared by a Jewish business or customized to your specifications. From fruit and nuts to chocolate and wine, there are plenty of gourmet treats to choose from.

Dried fruit and nuts

A platter of dried fruits and nuts offers something for your recipient's entire family. Almonds and pistachios are a crunchy, salt contrast to sweet dried apricots, dates, pears and prunes. In addition to being a healthy present, the variety of colors and textures allow you to create a visually stunning presentation.

Fresh fruits

A Kosher gift basket filled with fresh fruits is something anyone would love. This is a safe choice if you're unsure of recipient's dietary restrictions as fruits are naturally free of gluten, dairy and nuts. Seasonal fruits are healthy, colorful and easy to arrange yourself. Lay a patterned cloth in the bottom of the basket so it folds over the edges and add a few flowers to the arrangement for a professional look.

An abundance of sweets

If you look around Jewish shops for examples of popular Jewish food gifts, you'll see a number of elaborate fruit and nut arrangements. But don't be fooled. Keeping Kosher doesn't curb a sweet tooth.

Put together a decadent assembly with certified shortbread, chocolate chip cookies, minty chocolates and caramel nut clusters. Complement these desserts with gourmet coffee or cappuccino mix and a nice mug to enjoy it in.

Is cheese okay?

Cheese is a popular item for this sort of gift. When you're shopping for someone who keeps Kosher however, the answer to the cheese question depends upon how conservative your recipient is. The safest choice is to get only certified K cheeses.

The difference between certified and non-certified hard cheese comes down to the enzyme rennet. Typically this is derived from the stomach of an animal and so some consider this a meat product and therefore not permissible to have with cheese. Others consider it okay because the enzyme is separated and therefore not a meat product.

Any cheeses labeled with the K are made with a rennet derived from microbial or vegetable sources. Pair your cheeses with some toasted sesame crackers and dark chocolates.

Made with love

Feel free to add a few homemade food gifts just make sure they observe your friend's rules. A jar of your signature jam, chutney or pasta sauce will delight your recipient. Include a list of ingredients so your recipient can double check the items are okay for them.

The main things to remember when making a Kosher gift basket are:

  •     Never put meat and dairy together. 
  •     Only certified meat and dairy products are acceptable.  

When in doubt, it's always a good idea to ask your intended recipient if something is in keeping with their Kosher kitchen rules. One of the best things about putting together a present like this is the opportunity it creates to learn more about them.

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