Why Are Kosher Dill Pickles So Confusing?

Kosher dill pickles are a favorite crunchy snack time treat, but they are also a bit confusing. What makes a kosher dill pickle kosher? What exactly is kosher? After learning about this confusing pickle, you'll be able to wow your friends with your knowledge the next time you're biting into one.

What is Kosher?

Traditionally, kosher is the word used to describe the dietary laws followed by people of the Jewish faith. Kosher is a more common word for Kashrut. The rules dictate which foods can't be eaten, including all by-products of the food. The rules also dictate how food must be prepared, including how animals are to be slaughtered.

What are Kosher Dill Pickles?

The word "kosher" when placed before "dill" simply means garlic. Kosher dill pickles are garlic dill pickles. That doesn't mean, though, that all garlic dill pickles are kosher dill pickles. Confused yet? A garlic dill pickle is a kosher dill pickle when it is pickled using traditional fermenting techniques. The pickles must ferment in salty brine mixed with garlic and dill weed. It must be kept refrigerated so it won't spoil. Garlic dill pickles pickled in vinegar are not kosher dill pickles. They are just garlic dill pickles.

Are Kosher Dill Pickles Kosher?

You've learned that the word "kosher" when mentioned with pickles means "garlic." It has nothing to do with the dietary laws. A kosher dill pickle might not be kosher in the dietary law sense. Confused again? According to the laws, all fruits and vegetables are kosher. Salt, water, garlic, and dill weed are also kosher. Wouldn't that make kosher dill pickles kosher? Not if the process to make the pickles didn't follow kosher laws, such as making them in a factory that also uses animal by-products. The only way to know if kosher dill pickles are kosher is to make them yourself or check the label on the jar.

Why are Kosher Dill Pickles Called Kosher?

If the pickles aren't kosher then why use the word? Things get confusing here, too. The word kosher is used because the fermented garlic dill cucumbers were made famous in the United States by the Jewish population in New York City. That doesn't mean that they invented these pickles. They have been made throughout Europe for centuries. The Europeans didn't call them kosher dill pickles. They were garlic dill pickles.

In summary, kosher dill pickles are cucumbers fermented in brine with garlic and dill weed, made famous by the Jewish people in New York City. They are not always automatically kosher according to the Jewish dietary law. Hopefully, you aren't so confused now.