Kosher Salt

近所のスーパーで、kosher saltというのを発見した。kosherとはユダヤ教の律法に従って調理された宗教的に正しい清浄な食品を意味することは知っていた。今辞書を調べたら、「包茎手術を済ませた」という意味があることを知ったけど。さて、塩に関して、宗教的に正しい塩と正しくない塩があるのか。
Raymondという人の”What is kosher salt? Is it better for you than regular salt?”という質問に対して、Ask Yahooでは、次のように答えられている;

Sodium chloride -- aka salt -- is a crystalline compound that comes from the oceans. Salt can be harvested

from seawater through evaporation, or it can be mined from inland deposits left by ancient oceans. Most salt

we use in our kitchens and dining rooms is mined, except salt sold as "sea salt," which comes from seawater.

Different types of salt are created during the refining process. Some varieties include additives that make

them flow freely through salt shakers, and others have added iodine, which can prevent hypothyroidism. Most

are ground into very fine grains, but a few types are left in a more natural form made of large, rocky

crystals. Fine-grained salts include table salt, iodized salt, pickling salt, and popcorn salt. Rock salt and

kosher salt are coarse-grained. Sea salt can be found in both fine and coarse forms. While all of these

taste, well, salty, the degree of saltiness and the precise flavor can vary.

Kosher salt usually has no additives, and it has big crystals with large surface areas. This size and shape

allows it to absorb more moisture than other forms of salt, and this makes kosher salt excellent for curing

meats. That is essentially where the name comes from. The salt itself is not kosher, meaning it doesn't

conform to Jewish food laws, but this salt is used to make meat kosher. The Jewish holy book, the Torah,

prohibits consumption of any blood, which is why kosher meat must be slaughtered and prepared in a specific

manner. A common way of removing the final traces of blood from meat is to soak and salt it.

That's not the only use for kosher salt, however. The flavor is distinct from ordinary table salt, and some

cooks prefer to use it in all their cooking. Like other coarse salts, kosher salt can be used in recipes that

call for a salt crust. You can even use it to salt the edge of a margarita glass.

Nutritionally speaking, kosher salt is no different than table salt, although it does not provide iodine. The

human body needs salt to regulate the electrolyte balance inside and outside of its cells. But studies have

shown that diets low in salt lower a person's blood pressure. As with many health issues, scientists and

doctors don't universally agree on the health benefits and problems related to salt intake.

普通の塩よりも結晶が大きく、独特な風味がある。しかし、kosher saltそれ自体はユダヤ教の律法とは関係ないということか。話はずれるが、この回答者(多分米国人)にとって、塩といえば岩塩が普通で海塩は寧ろ例外的であるということは興味深い。
また、ユダヤ教の食物に関する律法は、Eliezer C. Abrahamsonという人によれば、

Kosher means ‘fit’ or ‘proper’. In Jewish law we refer to foods which are permitted to be eaten as kosher.

These laws are called the laws of kashrus. The laws of kashrus come primarily from the Torah with some

additional Rabbinical decrees. The following is an outline of the basic laws of kashrus and their common


1. Only the meat and milk of certain animals is permitted. The Torah identifies these animals as having split

hooves and 'chewing their cud'. In practical terms the only commonly used meat animals which are permitted

are cows and sheep. There are many kosher animals (deer, buffalo and others) but none of them are used on a

regular basis in America.

2. Not all birds are permitted. We know which birds are acceptable by means of tradition (the Torah lists the

forbidden birds but the exact translation of some of these species is no longer known. Thus we can only eat

birds known by tradition to be kosher.) Most commonly eaten birds (chicken, duck and turkey) are acceptable.

(There is a minor controversy about turkey but most authorities maintain that it is acceptable.)

3. All fish with scales and fins are acceptable. This includes fish such as tuna and salmon.

4. All insects, crustaceans, shellfish, and other invertebrates are forbidden. It is therefore necessary to

be careful when eating certain vegetables to be certain that they are not infested with insects. (There is

one exception in the Torah for certain specific species of grasshoppers; however, the identity of the

permissible species is no longer known.)

5. Even permitted animals and birds must be slaughtered in a very specific manner. A trained professional

must perform this slaughtering.

6. It is forbidden to eat or cook milk and meat together. This includes poultry. It is also forbidden to use

utensils that were used for cooking one to cook the other. This is why Jewish homes must have separate

utensils for milk and meat.

In addition, there are numerous additional details which have to be dealt with. Therefore, in practical

terms, most foods that are manufactured outside of one's home must be produced with reliable supervision to

guarantee that they have been produced according to the laws of kashrus.

さらに、によると、葡萄製品(ワイン及びグレープ・ジュース)に関する禁忌があり、 non-Jews(非ユダヤ人or非ユダヤ教徒)によって作られたワイン及びグレープ・ジュースを飲むことは禁止される。しかし、果物としての葡萄には禁忌はない。これはワインが古代の異教の儀礼に使われていたことに由来すると解説されている。