FOR THE YOSHON CONSUMER: PRELIMINARY ESTIMATED GUIDELINES
(The dates given below are preliminary likely to change over the next few weeks.)
We expect the Chodosh grain started to appear in products as follows:
1) Freshly baked items using spring wheat, including breads, challahs, bagels, rolls, pizza and some cakes and cookies may be Chodosh in the Midwest after the PURCHASE DATE of July 29. Elsewhere in the US, this date would be Aug 12.
2) Packaged foods from spring wheat may be Chodosh after the PACKING date of July 29, or the PURCHASE date of Aug 12.
3) Noodles and pasta may be Chodosh after the PACKING date of Aug 13 and the PURCHASE date of Aug 27.
4) Barley, such as pearled barley, may be Chodosh after the PACKING date of Aug 9 and PURCHASE date of Aug 23.
5) Oats: Oats in all products, including cereals, may be Chodosh starting with a PACKING date of Jul 20, PURCHASE date of Aug 3. (For details see below.)
6) Barley malt (also listed in the ingredients as “malt”) may be Chodosh as of the packing date of Nov 15 for beer and Dec 15 for other packaged foods. Package codes should be checked after the purchase date of Dec 15 for beer made from barley malt and Mar 15 for malt in other products.
Please note that the early starting date for oats is a chumrah, based on the start of the oats harvest which is already on the way now. However, many cereal companies keep old oats in storage and start using Chodosh later. General Mills (Cheerios, etc) usually starts at least 1-2 months later. Quaker some years started this early, other years later. To be sure, purchase oats cereals for storage now. It is too early now for mashgichim to be able to find out the oats starting date for this year for specific companies.
FOR MASHGICHIM AND PRODUCERS OF YOSHON PRODUCTS
The harvest of spring wheat and barley is about to start. At least one flour mill in the upper Midwest USA near the growing areas warned that they may start milling Chodosh spring wheat as early as Jul 18, or shortly after that. I don’t expect that most mills in the Midwest will start for at least 1-2 weeks after that. Mills on the East and West coasts should be at least 1-2 weeks later to allow for transportation delays. Mashgichim and proprietors of Yoshon-related foods should take note of the impending start of the Chodosh season.
Please also note that for the second year in the row, the hard red winter wheat crop is very low in protein level. Therefore, products usually made from winter wheat only, are likely to have some spring wheat blended in to raise the overall protein level. Even flour or other products labeled as being from 100% winter wheat are, by law, allowed to contain even more than 50% spring wheat and quite likely will! It is the responsibility of the mashgichim to make sure that products they claim are Yoshon are indeed from winter wheat only and are therefore Yoshon. Such products include flour, matzos, matzo meal and foods using matzo meal (eg gefilte fish), pretzels, crackers.