Question for Jewish Dopers: Is this taking the keto craze a bit too far?

Speaking as a vegetarian (which is pretty much automatically kosher), you can make any Mexican dish with beans instead of meat, thus making it vegetarian and kosher. And I am definitely going to make those sweet potato latkes.

Amazingly enough, there are Jewish ovo-lactarians for whom cheese with their Mexican food is not an issue (assuming, of course, all of the food in question is kosher if they’re observant). Bonus in that that cuts down on the number of sets of dishes/cooking utensils they might need at home. I’m not sure why cheese is suddenly an issue in the minds of several posters.

I’m sure there are kosher vegans out there, too, although for the full-lifestyle ethical vegans there are issues around items like tefillin.

That said - whether or not dairy can be served with fish varies from one Jewish group to another. Some will not, feeling that serving dairy with any sort of animal flesh gives the wrong impression and looks un-kosher (… or so I gather, I am by no means an expert on any of this). Others say it’s not the offspring in the milk of the mother (fish not being mammals) so it’s OK.

I don’t know of any kosher-observant Jews serving bird with cheese, either, but as I said, I’m no expert. Perhaps next time I run into the folks who keep the kosher kitchen rules I’ll ask.

I’ll also note there is a difference between Mexican-American food, Tex-Mex, and what’s eaten in Mexico. Not everything in Mexico is slathered in cheese or sauces - as our Jewish chef was from Mexico the food was occasionally an object of puzzlement as it was often more Mexican than American. Also, beans have been a definite staple protein in the Americans for thousands of years, including in the region now known as Mexico, far longer than people in those areas have had access to cheese and other dairy. Unfortunately, due to my tomato allergy I had to pass on a lot of it. I do seem to recall that quite a bit of it was categorized under “dairy” for kosher purposes, though quite a bit was pareve.

I’ll also add I’ve had kosher Chinese food as well - “kosher” isn’t a set a recipes, or raw ingredients, nor is it the cooking of Eastern Europe (even if there is a strong relationship in the minds of many, including many Jews with ancestry in Eastern Europe), it’s regulations regarding food “purity” and handling. Outside of certain forbidden items and combinations pretty much anything goes.

I’ve heard that sushi has gotten popular among the New York Jews, for example. Of course, some items like shrimp won’t be on such a menu, but there’s a lot of traditional sushi that could qualify as kosher if properly sourced and in an observant kitchen.

Vegetarians, vegans and those keeping kosher have to watch out for traditional refried beans as they’re traditionally made with lard, though.

Someone on a Disney fan forum was having a meltdown over the refried beans being made with animal fat and I was all “yeah?”


The Bible does not prohibit it, but the Rabbis declared fowl with dairy forbidden because it is too easy to confuse a piece of fowl with a piece of mammal meat. (Just BTW, according to Talmudic interpretations, the Bible prohibits the meat of any mammal with milk from any mammal, not just its own species.)

Just a couple of tips: you should drain them overnight, and not just for an hour or two; and bear in mind that the dough is kind of finicky to work with, so be prepared.

I think fajitas are considered Tex-Mex.
However, tacos are frequently served with onion and cilantro only with lime, salsa, cebollitos, grilled chiles, etc available on the table. I’ve actually been told that ‘real Mexicans never put dairy on tacos’ but I think that’s more of a ‘never ketchup a hot dog’ or ‘never use beans in chili’ type of statement.

Restaurant Tortas Mexico has fajitas, and no cheese on their tacos.

Though I have never made the recipe (it is going on my “things to try list” for sure) I spot one more tip that I think might help: don’t peel the sweet potatoes before cooking. Instead, cut the raw potatoes into roughly same-size piece, boil, and slip the skins off AFTER cooking.

It may depend on the variety, and of course size and shape, but overall I find peeling raw sweet potatoes to be a PITA. On nthe other hand, the skins easily slid off of a boiled sweet potato. (Less waste that way, too.)

This is all true, but evidently it is not sufficient for a kitchen to be theoretically kosher-- one must also believe it to be kosher: I was sitting on a plane next to a couple who had ordered the Kosher meal. It came with a kashrut certificate that they scrutinized and discussed for quite a while before deciding that no, they were not going to eat that, and sent it back. I asked them whose certificate they would trust, and they said someone they are personally familiar with, or vouched for by someone they trust, etc.

In parts of Germany they sell a kind of winter street-food potato-based grease-bomb called Reibekuchen, but anyone eating those is obviously not overly concerned about a healthy diet. (I assume they are kosher, but who knows?) You can eat them hot and crispy.

My daughter makes broccoli latkes every year for our synagoue’s Hanukkah party and routinely wins the latke competition with them. Sometimes stuff other than potato is good.

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I had just never heard of anyone making latkes with anything other than white potatoes.

“Food in the parve category includes fish, fruit, vegetables, salt, etc.; among the Karaites, Ethiopian Jews, and some Persian Jews it also includes poultry.”

Karatite and Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) are both non Talmudic sects of Judaism and since the prohibition on poultry and dairy is Talmudic not halakic I could buy that it isn’t part of their tradition. I’m skeptical that any Persian Jews are doing the same though and would like to see cites better than Wiki for all three before I repeated it.