I like hotdogs. I don’t keep kosher. It seems that hotdogs are notorious for containing all the leftover icky parts of the animal that nobody wants to eat.
When I buy kosher hotdogs, am I fooling myself by thinking the product is going to be a bit more pure? I know the slaughter is rabinically supervised, and I have no doubt that it’s more sanitary, but do the kosher folks avoid certain nasty bits which do get included in regular hotdogs?
Also, only some parts of the animal can be used - none of the back-end. And, the animal has to be healthy to start with - it’s inspected before slaughter and the slightest sign of disease renders it unfit.
None of the leading national brands of hot dogs (Oscar Mayer, Hormel, Swift, Armour, etc.) in the U.S. contain beef or pork byproducts. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture requires that all the meat in products labeled simply “hot dogs” or “frankfurters” be from skeletal muscle only. The U.S.D.A. requires that if the hot dog or frankfurter does contain meat byproducts, that it be labeled “Hot Dogs with Byproducts” or “Frankfurters with Byproducts”. The phrase “with Byproducts” must be in a typeface the same size as the “hot dogs” or “frankfurters”.
As rampisad pointed out, none of the back-end of cattle slaughtered today is used in kosher meats, so you would presumably not have any anuses. Furthermore, since there are no pigs in kosher food, there are no snouts either.
In any event, if you’re looking to kosher hot dogs as a health food, I’ve got to tell you that you’re looking in the wrong place. Hot dogs in general (kosher or not) are not the best foods in the world from a health standpoint.
Speak for your own jurisdiction. In Australia, meat pies are arguably more popular than hot dogs as street-vendor food. When I first moved there in 1999, I caught a segment of news on the radio that said that the national health ministry had just approved an increase of 20% or so more “lips, genitals, and offal” in all meat pies.
Psychonaut, Rampisad is referring to the kosher rules, which apply everywhere (save slight variations in Israel). My understanding is that although it is theoretically possible to butcher beef to obey the kosher rules and use the back end, very few kosher butchers know the technique.
Esentially correct. Judaism forbids consumption of the sciatic nerve in cattle. However, the act of removing the nerve and surrounding tissues (called traibering in Yiddish) is extremely difficult. I don’t know if the reason for it’s not being done is because of a lack of knowledge, or if it’s because it may be more trouble than the back end of the animal is worth. The end result, however, is that the back end of the animal is sold as non-kosher meat.
My source was this friend of mine who grew up orthodox (one of the Young Israels in Midwood); what he’d heard was that traibering (thanks for the word!) was a sephardic tradition that had largely been lost, save for a few practitioners in Argentina.
Actually, the back end of a steer includes some of the most expensive, tasty cuts - sirloin, tenderloin, filet mignon. I suspect it’s some combination of bother plus lack of demand - if my friend’s right, that it was only the sephardis who regularly did this, then ashkenazis probably never knew what they were missing. And of course in this country, ashkenazis vastly outnumber sephardis.
Fascinating. So according to US health laws, there’s no “offal” in even the nonkosher meats? But in Australia, “lips and genitals” are A-OK? (I’m all too able to think up commercial jingles around the phrase “lips and genitals”, I’m afraid.)
Of course I knew that pigs aren’t kosher. I guess I forgot that cows don’t have snouts.
I did NOT know that the backend was not kosher (in practice). So much for delicious kosher genitals.
And Zev, I’m not looking for health food! I’m just looking to avoid some of the psychological “ick” factor as I eat my greasy, delicious dogs.
I have a friend from Peru; her father is the chief Rabbi there. He does traibering, so when the friend and family go to visit, they do dine on kosher sirloin, tenderloin, etc. Makes me want to take a trip down there myself.
What is special about the sciatica? I have read the kosher laws in the Bible (I think they appear in three different places) and I remember all about fish with fins and scales and locusts and grasshoppers (kosher) and ants and bees (traif) and cud chewing and cloven hoofs and kids in mother’s mild and so on, but nary a word about sciatic nerves. I always thought it was because the hind quarters are more heavily vasculated and therefore harder to get the blood out of.