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The term "beef-fry" is used by my local kosher butcher for brisket which has been cured to resemble bacon both in appearance and (apparently) flavour.

Taking this into account, due to its apparent similarity to a product from an unkosher animal, shouldn't using beef-fry be ma'arit 'ayin? Presumably, the OU disagrees, as most of the brands sold at my local store are hechshered by them.

  • I hope not, I really enjoy cooking with it! – Noach MiFrankfurt Sep 22 '16 at 20:29
  • Isn't all meat sorta similar to all other meat? Why is this unique? Pork-burgers and beef-burgers are (probably) pretty similar looking. – Double AA Sep 22 '16 at 20:32
  • @DoubleAA, but what about the bacon culture?! I've seen bacon in nearly everything that could be imagined! It's treif of course, being as it's from a pig, but regardless, it has a very visible presence in the media, which -say- brisket doesn't. Most meats also really look different, although how they are treated affects that as well. Also, I've never seen pork burgers in all of my time at university, seeing the types of treif that they serve. – Noach MiFrankfurt Sep 22 '16 at 20:34
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt re your comment: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/14976 – msh210 Sep 22 '16 at 20:41
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    Would the same question apply to Jack's Facon, Duck or Lamb Bacon, Morningstar Farms veggie bacon? Is there something about the name, appearance or flavor or method of cooking which makes it mar'it ayin? – rosends Sep 22 '16 at 20:41
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I heard this answer related to Rich's non-dairy coffee creamer, which is one of the "oldest" brands of this type of product used by the Jewish religious community. This info was told to me by someone working in the OU and supported by my local Orthodx rav (I won't mention his name, but he is also on my local Va'ad Harabbanim).

When the coffee creamer was first served at Jewish weddings, there was a concern of mar'it ayin (if that's the correct term to use, here), because not enough people knew about this product. Mashgichim (kosher supervisors) instructed waiters to specifically place the Rich's container on the table and not pour the creamer into a glass or metal unmarked container. By seeing the product in the container, anyone who suspected that this was dairy could read the ingredients and verify that, in fact, this was non-dairy. After several years, as people became accustomed to this product, the marit ayin concept was no longer there, and caterers were allowed to pour the product into their own containers and place that on the table.

I think we can, then make the analogy to the beef fry. I think that the majority of the religious community understands that when they buy a meat product having a trustworthy certification and coming from a trustworthy place, the name of the product doesn't matter and this is not marit ayin. That's my opinion in comparing this with the above, but verify with your local rav and / or mashgiach.

  • Similarly, I believe that the Ta"z says to place almonds on the table by a container of almond milk during a meat meal. I didn't know that they had Almond milk in his time though. – Noach MiFrankfurt Sep 23 '16 at 18:29
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt Doesn't the Gemarah mention nut oils or extracts? Even if not, almond extract, I gather, is quite old. I think Italy and Greec used almond juices for centuries. I'm assuming that Taz's concern was that even in his day, it was called "milk". I guess if it had been called "juice" there wouldn't have been a problem. I think similar problem occurs with why there's no Kosher Lepesach kasha b/c it's called buckwheat. – DanF Sep 23 '16 at 18:40
  • It's a white liquid. I looked almond milk up on Wiki immediately after commenting and it appears that it has been around since the time of the Rishonim. – Noach MiFrankfurt Sep 23 '16 at 19:03
  • "I think that the majority of the religious community understands that when they buy a meat product having a trustworthy certification and coming from a trustworthy place, the name of the product doesn't matter and this is not marit ayin." But they didn't use that logic for the pareve creamer. – msh210 Sep 24 '16 at 22:33
  • @msh210 I guess I wasn't too clear. B/c people know what beef fry is, by now, then ... Also, keep in mind that 40 years ago, kashrut standards were very different than they were today. – DanF Sep 26 '16 at 17:31

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