I make my groceries shopping at BJ’s wholesale Club, (similar to Costco) I like to buy in bulk, at BJ’s I get nice discounts, nice products, it’s a large store and it’s not crowded... whatever, so we consume one bottle of wine every 2-3 weeks sometimes very 4 weeks. Just an occasional glass before or with the dinner is enough for us.
Wine is all the same to me. I know couple of people that will get angry with this statement. Is not really the same, I can detect difference in flavor but the whole wine culture is unknown and uninteresting to me. Maybe someone will capture my attention one day with proper explanation and passion and I might learn something about this.
Well, we tested this wine in a relative’s house, we found it at BJ’s and it comes in a squared bottle. We really like it, it’s sweet, soft, not that dry (my wife don’t like dry wines) and we consumed one bottle. Then we switch to another one but mmm, the squared bottle one was just better. Now we always get the one from the squared bottle.
I commented this at work and people was surprised for the square bottle. They asked “are you buying box wine Ed?” –me: “no no, it’s a real crystal bottle, it’s just squared, that’s all”. So I had to search on Bing the wine to show it to them. It was hard, I didn’t remember the name since it was hard to pronounce to me.
After many attempts to remember the name, I came up with the closest search: “manicheviz wine square bottle”. Ok, “manicheviz” was the closest word I could find. It turned out it’s called Manischewitz Wine.
People was shocked and they cracked laughing since they know this is a Jewish wine and I come from Cuba, so I’m stereotypically not a common Jewish wine buyer, and I bought it with absolute no idea.
I was intrigued since I had no contact with Jewish traditions or food, mainly because Cuba is isolated from the world and there is very few contacts with these traditions, although the mix of religions there is very rich.
So we continued consuming the wine occasionally.
Days after I also commented at work I cooked this meal, I can’t remember now what it was, but I mentioned it was good, and I added some Kosher salt at the end… same expressions same shock. But why?
- “First the Wine, now Kosher salt, are you really Jewish ed?”
I had no idea of what Kosher is and what it means.
This is the salt I regularly use (yes I love to cook):
It’s very thing salt, super small grains, sometimes I need bigger grains for texture, so I found this one:
It’s bigger grains because it’s Coarse salt, but I read “Morton, kosher salt”, so that was “kosher salt” to me.
After the laughs, I got intrigued now more than ever, so I started reading a little bit to learn more about Kosher.
By principle I don’t care about consuming a product from any ethnic, group, country, sect or religion or whatever, as long as I like the product, it fits my health parameters or my taste. Maybe by being isolated from the world in terms of these traditions is a good thing since probably I’m not biased at all.
The health explanations around it are very interesting to me. I really like them and truly believe some are of good benefits for health purposes. Any other religious explanation are of debate since I’m not religion inclined, don’t practice anyone, but I respect them.
Procedure for killing animals, type of animals to eat, removing some fats from animals, food mixes, the list is long actually.
Looking at the procedure for killing animals for example. I do know the difference at least in terms of taste, of an pig that is killed and let bleed, or a pig that’s killed and doesn’t bleed. The test of the first one is considerably much better than the second one. Maybe the kosher procedure have lot of other reasons that we don’t understand scientifically, or some ones that we do.
Also, you have to look at the practicality of things. In hard situations, where there is practically no food available, you haven’t eat meat in long time, and it happens that a some pig just got grabbed in a fence and died 5 minutes ago, what are you going to do? throw it away because you couldn’t kill it appropriately or eat it and get the only protein supply you’ll get in 6 months?
My explanation to holy documents and religion laws, is that smart ancient people discover a series of health risks or a series of good practices to move those societies forward, and expressed them in terms of religious analogies and divine explanations or sacred traditions, or laws, so common people follow them and get some sort of reason why doing it and the benefit of doing it.
I will continue reading about it, an continue consuming those products or any other as long as they’re good.
1- Image from http://www.manischewitzwine.com/
2,3- image from http://www.walmart.com/