Q: Could you give me some guidelines as to when sheva brochos are recited?

A: When a chosson and kallah get married, sheva brochos are recited on three occasions: (i) under the chupah, (ii) at the end of the meal following the chupah, and (iii) at the end of subsequent meals that are made lekovod the chosson and kallah. It is this third category which is commonly known as sheva brochos. If the chosson and kallah have both been previously married, sheva brochos are recited only on the day of the wedding.1 If either the chosson or kallah has not been previously married, sheva brochos are recited on the seven days following the wedding, with the day of the wedding reckoned as the first of those seven days.2 If neither the chosson nor the kallah have previously been living an observant lifestyle (or if one of them has not been living […]

Published Spring 2013

Have you ever had a slice of p’tcha galarita – that spicy, globby stuff Bubby used to cook up? How did she manage to make it so thick?

Better yet, open a can of gefilte fish. Look at the stiff jell that comes as its broth. Why is it that when you cook your own gefilte fish, you do not get that solid jelly from your broth? Did you ever wonder why theirs is so thick and yours is not?

COLLAGEN may be the answer to this thickening question.

Collagen is a fibrous, insoluble protein that makes up a major portion of bone, skin and connective tissue. By cooking animal bones or adding fish bones to the broth of your gefilte fish, you will extract some of the collagen from the bones. This gives you the wobbly jelly in p’tcha or in the gefilte fish that comes in a can.

The most common form in which collagen is marketed is partially hydrolyzed state known commonly as gelatin. […]

Published Spring 2013

It has been called the staff of life. “Lechem” (bread) makes a quick cameo appearance for posterity, when the Ribbono Shel Olam charts the course of mankind for time immemorial by punishing Adam HaRrishon with the words, “Bezaias apecha tochal lechem”,1 “You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow.” Of course, it is obvious to everyone – both young and old- that lechem means bread!

Published Spring 2013

In the course of his daily routine, a mashgiach deals with dozens-if not hundreds-of food ingredients. In the arcane world of modern food technology, terms like “enzymes”, “substrates”, “emulsifiers”, “stabilizers”, and “surfactants” lend some technical significance. But, in the real world one may ask, “What has an enzyme done for me lately?” This article will address some of the direct applications of enzymes in our diet.

Published Spring 2013

Centuries ago, the ancient Greeks recognized that there were certain properties in leaven which caused chemical changes in flour and water converting it into bread. They called the magical ingredient “enzyme” which is the Greek term for “in leaven.” Today enzyme remains the term by which we refer to these biological catalysts. We now understand that enzymes are proteins found in every living organism be it animal, vegetable, or microbial.