Kosher catering in London
Catering companies in London need to be aware of a multitude of different dietary requirements, be they for lifestyle choices, allergies or religious reasons. These considerations are also of paramount importance when organising your next team lunch or office event. Home to a large Jewish community for over a thousand years, kosher catering in London is a key element of the event catering landscape.
What is kosher food and what are its origins?
Kosher is taken from the Jewish holy book, the Torah, and literally means “fit” or “appropriate” to be eaten. Most people are aware that Jews are forbidden from eating any pig-derived products, but kosher regulations go much deeper than that. Animals that are and are not permitted fall generally into three categories:
- Any land creature that both chews the cud and has split hooves (eg, cow, sheep).
- Any sea creature with both fins and scales. So fish are fine but seafood is not.
- Birds of prey, scavengers and fish eating water birds are prohibited, but chicken and turkey, for example, are fine.
To be considered kosher, animals must be slaughtered in a specific way by a schochet, or ritual slaughterer. It is also repeated three times in the Torah that “you may not cook a young animal in the milk of its mother”, meaning that meat and dairy are not to be eaten together. Further, they are explicitly forbidden from being on the same table, in the same fridge or having the same utensils used with them. Kosher observant diners must wait several hours after eating meat before they can consume dairy.
To help, Jewish scholars have split kosher foods into three categories:
- Dairy (milchig) - cheese, milk, yoghurt, ice cream
- Meat (fleishig) - all kosher animals and fowl and their derivative products slaughtered in the prescribed way
- Neutral (pareve) - eggs, fish, tofu, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables
Kosher catering in London
Eating kosher in London is about so much more than bagels and salt beef. With a large Jewish community to feed, there are no shortage of cafes and restaurants cooking their interpretations of kosher classics, some of which you may have heard of:
- Golden chicken soup - AKA Jewish penicillin is a classic recipe that even the most famous chefs have had a bash at recreating
- Borscht - a sour beetroot soup hailing from Ukrainian Jews
- Pastrami - invented by a Jewish New York deli owner in the 1880s and a staple of sandwiches ever since
- Sachertorte - yes, the world famous chocolate cake may have been born in Vienna, but it was crafted by the Jewish
- Fish & Chips - the none-more-British staples were first paired on a plate by a Jewish London schoolboy in 1860
Vegan & vegetarian kosher catering
With vegetables part of “pareve”, they are free to be paired with anything, making kosher a haven for vegans and vegetarians alike. One of the most treasured kosher dishes, eaten to celebrate the Jewish New Year is an ideal choice. Couscous aux sept legumes hails from Morocco, consisting of a stew of seven symbolic vegetables: carrot, onion, turnip, celery, pumpkin, cabbage and chickpeas, each of which receives a special prayer before being eaten.
Ideas on what to order
Jewish cuisine is incredibly varied and nomadic, stretching as it does from Western Europe to India via North Africa and the Middle East. Platters of mini bagels, roulades and falafel-stuffed pitta comprising of flavours found across the Jewish world are an ideal party food selection for any celebration. And with fine dining options for more formal events, kosher catering is the perfect option for every occasion.
How to order
You have enough on your plate having to organise a celebration or office event without having to worry about whether or not the food is kosher. But don’t worry, Caterwings have got your back, with KLBD accredited caterers on hand to provide peace of mind and great party food. View menus from all our kosher catering experts online. Order direct from the website, by phone, email or through an online chat with our food concierge. The Caterwings Butler Service is here for all your catering needs to provide you with a personalised quote for your order. Our dedicated customer service team is focused on delivering the highest quality foods in London for your perfect event. Give us a call on 020 3828 7088 or email us at [email protected]. Happy eating!