Do people eat pork in Israel?
While not abounding, Israeli pork-eaters certainly exist, and a small number of pig-breeding farms operate in the country, mostly in Christian villages.
Despite Judaism's prohibition on eating pork, pigs are raised, slaughtered and processed as food in Israel. Pork, referred to as “white meat” in Hebrew, has been available at numerous restaurants and stores in Israel for decades.
Prohibition in Jewish law
According to Leviticus 11:3, animals like cows, sheep, and deer that have divided hooves and chew their cud may be consumed. Pigs should not be eaten because they don't chew their cud. The ban on the consumption of pork is repeated in Deuteronomy 14:8.
Put simply, the importation into Israel of bacon, prosciutto, ham or any other pork product is prohibited.
Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Israel, followed by turkey. Chicken is prepared in a multitude of ways, from simple oven-roasted chicken to elaborate casseroles with rich sauces such as date syrup, tomato sauce, etc.
Pig meat is not sold in any ordinary Israeli grocery stores or delis, since the vast majority of the Israeli public are Jews and Muslims, and both religions forbid such foods. At one time, the only place in Jerusalem to buy bacon or ham was in Christian delis in the Old City.
In Israel, most branches are non-kosher since they serve cheeseburgers (which are non-kosher, i.e. do not conform to traditional Jewish dietary law) by special request (they are not on the menu) and they serve milk-based desserts (ice cream, milkshakes).
As Jeffrey Yoskowitz, a New York-based Jewish food expert points out, there's actually no word for “pork” in Hebrew, only a word for “pig,” which is “hazir.” For meat eaters, using separate words for the animal and its meat—think “cow” versus “beef”—creates a psychological distance that is crucial to being able to ...
In KFC's last incarnation in Israel, franchise owner Udi Shamai's eight locations went kosher after the company allowed him to switch the milk powder in the crispy coating to soy and to use chickens slaughtered by kosher methods instead of those provided by the company.
In short, pork and shellfish are forbidden and meat and dairy products must not be cooked together or eaten at the same meal. Most of the hotels in Israel are Kosher (including those we use on our group tours), so breakfast is dairy, and during lunch and dinner it is not possible to have milk in tea or coffee.
What foods are Jews not allowed to eat?
Kashrut—Jewish dietary laws
Certain foods, notably pork, shellfish and almost all insects are forbidden; meat and dairy may not be combined and meat must be ritually slaughtered and salted to remove all traces of blood. Observant Jews will eat only meat or poultry that is certified kosher.
One of the most distinctive food practices in both Judaism and Islam is the avoidance of pork products. In Judaism, the prohibition has been a way of showing Jewish identity and of challenging it.