When I was in Yeshiva, it was often quoted that "some opinions" require Bishul Yisroel on any food item that has a form that is served "Al Shulchan Malachim". So, for example, potatoes would always require Bishul Yisroel even in the form of potato chips because some form of potatoes are prepared for state dinners and the like.

A while ago I was talking to a serious Talmid Chocham about some Kashrus issues, and that opinion came up and he started saying "That opinion ..." and caught himself. I assume he didn't want to denigrate it (this is my personal projection onto the conversation), but didn't hold by it. (His personal practice was to buy only Bishul Yisroel potato chips in a neighborhood where they are readily available and even cheaper than the other kinds, but when traveling he didn't worry about it).

Who's opinion is it that has that stringency of following the food item instead of the specific way it is being made?


In Igros Moshe yoreh deah 4 siman 48 ois 5 he says potato chips should be bishul yisroel, because it is not so clear that they don't need to be. He also adds that "it is like many foods made in factories that people say reasons to be lenient and most people are lenient and with this issur dirabanan one cannot chastise the people who are lenient."

The explanation supposedly given by word of mouth is that the food item (ingredient; in this case, the potatoes) are oleh al shulchan milachim. This is what I've heard from various rebbeim/poskim of mine. Two of whom had ongoing relationships and opportunities to talk to reb Moshe. I can't name names being that I don't recall anyone ever saying explicitly 'I heard this exact idea from Reb Moshe'.

Also see Pri Migadim in his Mishbitzos Zahav on siman 112 ois 3. His opening line at face value seems to indicate that a food which if spiced and prepared properly would in fact be olah al shulchan milachim than it is in fact subject to laws of bishul akum.

  • There's also a general dispute over the status of frying (tigun). On Pesach, when the Ashkenazi custom is not to eat roasted meat (since one might think we're eating the korban pesach); does the meat have to be cooked in water, or is frying in oil enough of a "not roasting"? Similarly, is frying sliced potatoes in oil enough of a "not cooking" (cooking defined as heated using water) to exempt from concerns of bishul yisrael. – Jake Aug 28 '14 at 6:53
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    Tigun is specifically pan fried. If the food is deep fried then everyone calls it bishul. Roasted meat on Pesach is a slightly different issue. As long as any amount of liquid is added, that is besides what comes out of the meat while cooking, it does not fall under the category of roasting as far as that minhag goes. – user6591 Aug 28 '14 at 11:14
  • I agree with you, but I have seen tshuvos that discourage the eating of pan fried chicken schnitzel on seder night, because of the vague status of tigun. – Jake Aug 28 '14 at 12:55
  • In any case, to whatever extent the major kashrut organizations don't require bishul yisrael for potato chips, they are relying on "not fit for a king's table", and not "not bishul", and I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I also haven't researched what the OU, OK, Star-K etc do l'maaseh for supervision of potato chips, and if a mashgiach adjusts the fire in any way. – Jake Aug 28 '14 at 13:02
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    I wasn't pushing any halachic agenda. He asked for an opinion. I pointed one out. At this point in my life I am still one of the average people Reb Moshe mentioned and I eat Wise potato chips. But I try to keep an open mind when learning the sugyas in case I find some compelling idea that will change my mind. – user6591 Aug 28 '14 at 13:34

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