Can I get a non-kosher Edible Arrangement to someone who keeps kosher?
December 15, 2009 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Would someone who keeps kosher be able to eat a non-kosher Edible Arrangement? The extent of his keeping kosher is that he will order only plain salad with no dressing if he needs to eat at a non-kosher restaurant (for business, for example). At home his family has two separate kitchens. I would like to get him a plain fruit, non-chocolate dipped Edible Arrangement, but the only facility that can prepare it is not kosher certified.
posted by Dragonness to Food & Drink (27 answers total)
If he's kosher enough to keep two separate kitchens, he's not going to touch that Edible Arrangement. I'd say play it safe, and get something that's not food.
posted by Oktober at 8:15 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

no, that isn't true. plain fruit should be fine in most contexts. If it is on its own platter, hasn't touched any other kinds of food, and especially if it is wrapped, then most kosher-keepers wouldn't have a problem with it.
posted by milestogo at 8:18 AM on December 15, 2009

What part of the country are you in? Some Edible Arrangements shops are kosher certified. Check the locations. There seems to be more kosher shops in the New York City area than anywhere else. I wouls contact one of those kosher shops and see if a kosher delivery can be made.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:19 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Especially if he eats plain salad at non-kosher restaurants--plain fruit is even easier to justify than plain salad is.
posted by milestogo at 8:20 AM on December 15, 2009

Oh, when you do the location search, you'll have to do a browser search on the page for the word "kosher".
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:20 AM on December 15, 2009

Best answer: I wouldn't. He's compromising by eating the salad; he's at a business meeting and he's not going to sit there with no food while everyone else eats. He won't have to make the compromise with your gift, he just won't eat it.
posted by amro at 8:22 AM on December 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

I wouldn't.

To be clear, I meant I wouldn't give him that gift, not that I wouldn't eat it - I don't keep kosher.
posted by amro at 8:23 AM on December 15, 2009

It sounds highly doubtful that he'll eat the edible arrangement. It sounds like he is very strict, but he eats the "least bad" thing he can, just to be polite, when out.

I know it kind of ruins the surprise a bit, but the best way to go would be to ask him.

I know vegetarians who are fine with eating vegetables cooked with meat in certain cases (but not the meat itself), and others who would recoil at their food being prepared in the same container as meat, even after it had been washed. I myself am somewhere in between, though I am aware of certain inconsistencies. That said, your friend is not facing a "simple" dietary decision, this is his religious path, and there are clear rules of food preparation and oversight which are not necessarily being followed, and that is likely of some concern to him.

Get something non-edible instead.
posted by lesli212 at 8:25 AM on December 15, 2009

He has two separate kitchens? Obviously he takes kashrut pretty seriously. The salad thing is probably a big compromise for him which he thinks is necessary for his career, and he probably doesn't like doing it. Don't put him in that position because you want to get him a particular gift. Get him something else. Maybe a nice box of fruit from Harry and David. They have a kosher section too.
posted by grouse at 8:26 AM on December 15, 2009

Oktober, that's not necessarily true. If he's willing to eat a plain salad in a non-kosher restaurant, he might also eat an edible arrangement if it's just plain fruit. That said....

Dragoness, it's honestly not worth the risk. You might waste money on a gift that he won't be able to appreciate.

There are a number of Edible Arrangement stores which are kosher certified, and I know that all of their franchises will ship overnight to any US address. You might consider calling (1-877-Do-Fruit) or sending them a tweet and asking them if they ever make arrangements to overnight ship from a kosher store. Or just call a kosher certified store directly. Here's a list of stores in New York State. Some of them are labeled kosher certified. (do a search on that page for the word "kosher."
posted by zarq at 8:28 AM on December 15, 2009

Best answer: Would he be able to? Probably. Would this be a good gift for him? Absolutely not. Choosing a gift should be about getting something you believe the recipient will really like, not about getting something you like that you're hoping the recipient will tolerate. This is the equivalent of saying to someone, "I know you're allergic to cats, but I've also seen you take allergy medicine that keeps the symptoms relatively manageable, so I got you this kitten!" If you want to give him a gift, get him something that you think he'll really enjoy, not something you think he might find marginally acceptable.
posted by decathecting at 8:28 AM on December 15, 2009 [8 favorites]

I wouldn't risk it. It sounds like he only compromises outside the home when absolutely necessary, and plain salad without dressing doesn't sound like much of a compromise! I'd go with grouse's suggestion.
posted by radioamy at 8:29 AM on December 15, 2009

Best answer: "Two separate kitchens" plus "eats salad in non-kosher restaurants" is a *does not compute* for me. I've known some pretty damn religious people, people who would not even enter a non-kosher restaurant to use the bathroom, and none of them has two kitchens. Unless he's just wealthy enough that having two kitchens is easy for him and it's a nice convenience - rather than something he views as vital.

At any rate - I would ask, or stick with one of the kosher Edible Arrangement places, or give him something else, just because a gift is nicer when it's been thought out and you know someone will be able to eat it.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:33 AM on December 15, 2009

Best answer: If he keeps two kitchens, he will probably not eat it, because he doesn't know whether or not the kitchen is kosher, etc, and he doesn't want to de-kashrut his kitchen or plates. Either send him certified kosher foods (in which case chocolate is fine) or something which isn't edible at all.
posted by jeather at 8:38 AM on December 15, 2009

Best answer: needs more cowbell, 'two kitchens' does not mean two physically separated kitchens, it means a kitchen with two sinks and two ovens (possibly microwaves and dishwashers as well) – split for milk and meat. One fridge, one kitchen table, one pantry, etc. I say this as someone who keeps
posted by mhz at 8:47 AM on December 15, 2009

* a kosher kitchen.

Also, unless it's, uncut, fresh fruit, this is not something I'd eat. Fresh fruit is never a problem at all – cut fruit and/or dried fruit introduces slight issues.

I also wouldn't walk into a non-kosher restaurant because of Ma'arat Ayin.
posted by mhz at 8:51 AM on December 15, 2009

Best answer: If food is a requirement, get him something you know is going to be kosher, like something from Zabar's kosher section.
posted by yellowcandy at 8:54 AM on December 15, 2009

Best answer: As another option, I recommend cupcakes from Crumbs - they are really delicious, and they're all kosher certified. They ship anywhere in the US except Alaska and Hawaii.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:03 AM on December 15, 2009

Response by poster: It's possible that the two separate kitchens are a bit of an indulgence, I know they haven't had that always, and also, I don't know if those are literally two kitchens or just two sets of counters, appliances, etc.

In any case, you've helped me view this from the correct perspective: the point is not whether he would be able to eat it so much as whether he would enjoy it. The answer is a very likely no.

Thanks also for the tips on alternatives.
posted by Dragonness at 9:10 AM on December 15, 2009

Could some of our Kosher keeping commentators weigh in, how important are the different hechshers in this case? Crumbs, for instance isn't OU, is that something the poster should be worried about?
posted by Jahaza at 9:41 AM on December 15, 2009

Best answer: I checked their hechsher, and it's one I'd never heard of — OKS. Google tells me that 'most Orthodox' wouldn't use it, which is enough for me to avoid it. The bakery is also open on Shabbat, which, as a Jewish-owned establishment, would be a deal breaker for me (and many other Orthodox, kosher-keeping Jews.)
posted by mhz at 10:02 AM on December 15, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, stoneweaver, this is very helpful.
posted by Dragonness at 11:19 AM on December 15, 2009

yeah, plenty of people go to OKS-certified places (they are all over the city) but it is almost universally distrusted by the more strict authorities. If we are still giving shippable food suggestions, perhaps Dale and Thomas Popcorn will do the trick? its good, and as kosher as you can get.
posted by milestogo at 12:36 PM on December 15, 2009

to clarify a minor point, I mean that plenty of *kosher observing* people eat at OKS places.
posted by milestogo at 12:37 PM on December 15, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, milestogo. I was hoping for more suggestions but didn't know if I was allowed to post a follow-up question. ;-)
posted by Dragonness at 1:22 PM on December 15, 2009

Google "kosher gift basket". There are a lot of great shippable options out there that your giftee will love.
posted by Citrus at 7:22 AM on December 16, 2009

Response by poster: I ended up getting a gift basket from; hopefully it'll be nice enough.
posted by Dragonness at 9:25 PM on December 16, 2009

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