February 22, 2019

In Israel, Kosher is Back in Vogue

“When Israeli burger chain Agadair decided to remove bacon from its menu last summer, it caused quite a ruckus. After all, a bacon cheeseburger was considered the chain’s signature dish.

The angry comments were quick to follow. Agadir, which at the time was also opening a kosher restaurant in Bnei Brak, was accused of capitulating to religious pressure. “You caved in to the Haredim, we won’t come (to your restaurant) anymore,” one irritated customer wrote on the chain’s Facebook page. Another added: “You’re trying to meet the religious public halfway, I’ll try to meet you halfway by not coming anymore.”

But Agadir was only the first. Next came sushi chain Japanika, which removed the sea food from its menu, and then hotdog purveyors Bayern Market that announced last week it will no longer sell pork sausages—one of the German food chain’s most beloved dishes. Bayern also announced plans to open its first kosher food stand at Ben-Gurion Airport.

There is no doubt a new trend has emerged. A lot of restaurants and chains are going kosher: no pork, no shrimp and no calamari. The reasons are varied, but the trend is evident. Even Yoram Nitzan, the head chef at the Mul-Yam seafood restaurant, opened a kosher restaurant at the InterContinental David hotel. No more lobsters and oysters.”

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