When buying Kosher Chocolate or Kosher gift baskets, each individual item needs certification. Kosher gifts that contain chocolate and other candies and confections will always tell the consumer what is kosher certified. These kosher gifts can be varied and eclectic, containing wines, dried fruits and nuts, flowers, bagels and many other types of foods.
If you are looking for resources to buy kosher chocolate, nuts or gift baskets check these out:
Dark, white, semisweet, sweet or full of goodies like nuts and candies, chocolate is a treat that has been loved by many dating back to 1100 BCE. Orthodox Jewry, however, must pay close attention when purchasing or eating chocolate. Chocolate needs kosher certification due to the way that is is processed.
The pods that contain the cacao beans are split open to dry. Then the seeds, or nibs, are removed. The nibs contain cocoa butter, and when they are ground, they become chocolate liquor (this chocolate liquor contains no alcohol). This chocolate liquor can be ground into cocoa powder, made into unsweetened baking chocolate or used to make the chocolate candy that is so widely loved.
When making milk chocolate, the ingredients needed are chocolate liquor, sugar, whole milk solids and cocoa. They are mixed together to make a paste, and an emulsifier is added to insure that the ingredients combine into a smooth liquid. Soy lecithin is often used as an emulsifier, and chocolate that is kosher for Pesach does not contain it because soy is considered kitniyot, and Ashkenazi Jews refrain from eating kitniyot during that holiday.
One kashrut challenge to consider when making chocolate is the production equipment. Since chocolate is heated when it is made, this leads to issues when the company wants to make both dairy and pareve, or neutral chocolate. The production equipment cannot be kashered easily, since this requires using water, which could be disastrous for any future chocolate that is to be made.
Kosher chocolate is widely available. To be certain that you're purchasing kosher chocolate, simply look for the kosher certification label. Kosher food symbols make is clear to the consumer what is kosher certified and what is not. Orthodox Jewry relies on these kosher food symbols not only to know what is kosher and what is not, but if the product is dairy, meaty or neutral. This is extremely important to know, as meat and dairy are forbidden to be eaten together, and dairy foods must not be eaten directly after eating meat. For those who keep kosher, it's vital to know exactly what one is eating. Some of the most popular kosher food symbols in the United States are given by the Orthodox Union (OU), Kof-K, OK Kosher Certification, Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC) and Star-K.
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