Halacha for Sunday 19 Sivan 5781 May 30 2021

The Laws of Chestnuts and Apples Cooked by a Non-Jew

In the previous Halachot, we have discussed that our Sages have prohibited eating foods cooked by a non-Jew and the reasons for this edict.

In the previous Halacha we have explained that there are two essential conditions for this prohibition to apply and that when either one is absent, the foods cooked by a non-Jew may be consumed. The first is that if the food is able to be eaten even uncooked, such as an apple, it may be consumed even if it was cooked by a non-Jew.

The second condition is that any dish which is not served on a king’s table, meaning that the dish is simple and not fit to be served to a king, is not included in the prohibition of food cooked by a non-Jew.

We shall now discuss some examples of foods which may be eaten even if they were cooked by a non-Jew.

Roasted Chestnuts
There are certain countries, especially in Europe, where non-Jewish vendors sit on the street and roast chestnuts on top of coals and sell them in paper bags. The question is: May one consume such chestnuts?

The answer is that since it is common to eat chestnuts even when they are raw, i.e. without being cooked or roasted, and this is indeed the regular way to eat them in these countries, the prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew therefore does not apply to chestnuts. Thus, such chestnuts may be purchased from a non-Jew and eaten after being thoroughly checked for worms.

Indeed, we have since been notified by Torah scholars in France that it is indeed prevalent to eat chestnuts raw. There is therefore no concern of the prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew regarding such chestnuts.

Apples Cooked in Sugar
The same would apply in countries where non-Jews sell apples cooked in sugar on a stick in the street. Clearly, there is no Kashrut concern with these apples since the sugar is kosher and there is nothing non-kosher about apples. It is therefore permissible to purchase such apples since the apples and sugar are able to be eaten even uncooked and the prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew thus does not apply here.

The same applies to any other food cooked by non-Jews and is able to be eaten raw or uncooked. Needless to say, this only applies when people involved in the field of Kashrut attest to the fact that there are no other underlying Kashrut concerns with these foods.   

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