Kosher Cheese - Cheese Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

A cheese can be considered to be a Kosher Cheese if it meets the dietary requirements of the Jewish religion's laws, known as kashrut. The word "kosher" is derived from the Hebrew word meaning "proper" or "fit". In general, a cheese is considered to be a Kosher Cheese if its milk was taken from a kosher animal, it was made with kosher equipment, and the cheese was produced under rabbinical supervision. Cheese is certified to be a Kosher Cheese by agencies that supervise the production process as well as inspect the cheese production facilities to make sure that kosher standards are upheld. Once a cheese is certified as a Kosher Cheese, its packaging is labeled with a kosher symbol, which identifies the kosher certifying agency. The most famous kosher symbol in the US is the "OU" symbol of the Orthodox Union. However, many other supervisory authorities exist, such as "Tablet K", "Star K" and "OK" to name a few.

The classification of Kosher Cheese is largely affected by whether or not the cheese is made with rennet, an enzyme found in animals that causes milk to separate into curds and whey. Kosher Cheese must be made with rennet from vegetarian sources, such as rennet derived from plants, usually thistle, microbial rennet, or rennet from kosher animals. Many softer cheeses, such as cream cheese and cottage cheese are not made with rennet but rather have bacterial cultures added to its milk, while many harder cheeses, such as Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss are made with rennet.

Kashrut laws also dictate the way Kosher Cheese is consumed. The Torah prohibits cooking, eating or deriving any benefit from the mixture of meat and milk. Although rennet used to make cheese make be derived from a kosher animal source, the rennet itself is an enzyme and is not considered a meat product so it may be used to make a Kosher Cheese.

Kosher Cheese is a great buy for occasions like Passover and Hanukkah. Shop for Kosher Cheeses produced and packaged under rabbinical supervision, bearing the appropriate kashrut symbols. We only sell pre-packaged Kosher Cheeses, meaning that they do not lose their certification from being handled in our facility. If keeping a Kosher house is important to you, trust the cheeses you find at igourmet.com to fit your lifestyle.

To find Kosher Cheese and the best gourmet foods and gift baskets online, begin your search at igourmet.com.