Feb 7, 2013

New standards to be set for burekas shapes

Burekas. Burekasim. They are delicious but loaded with trans-fats. It turns out there is something else dangerous about them.

Back in the day when burekas were simple - you went to the bakery and your options were the square potato burekas or the triangle cheese burekas. In recent years, the bakeries have developed so many new types of burekas that one goes into the bakery and does not know what to choose. They now come in all sorts of shapes with a variety of fillings. The standards for burekas were originally established with kashrut concerns in mind - everyone knew triangle meant dairy and square meant pareve. Today it is much more complicated, with no standards any longer in place.

The Rabbanut held a special session this week, meeting with the rabbonim responsible for the kashrut along with the owners of the bakeries, to discuss the need for changing the shapes currently used for the various pastries to more easily identify what they are filled with. They had trays of every type of burekas available, but only for display, as part of the meeting.

The presenting rabbi explained the need for this comes from complaints they have received from people, along with mistakes made in the factories (due to lack of any standard) that caused people to eat, presumably, dairy burekas after a meat meal. And, it is not just a halachic issue, but a health issue which is even more important - someone with an allergy or sensitivity to dairy might mistakenly buy a dairy burekas or pastry.

They made some recommendations of standards for the future, some of which the bakery owners said might be difficult or impossible to implement because of the preparation process or how changing the shape might affect the final product. The bakery owners also requested that the supervision and enforcement be implemented on an equal, across-the-board, basis, ensuring that all the bakeries will stick to the final standards that will be set.

The Rabbanut will soon be releasing a set of guidelines, after they will be formulated, so people will be able to properly distinguish between dairy and pareve pastries, thus avoiding both kashrut and health issues.
(source: Srugim)

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  1. When I first saw the headline I thought it said "burkas" - I thought someone thought up a way to make them even more shapeless....

  2. lol... dont give them ideas! :-)

  3. What about nut allergies, or have they not made that filling yet?

  4. Of my two favorite burekas(im) places, Chokhmat HaBurekas in the Shuk is very confusing as they have many triangle puffs and log shapes that can only be distinguished by what is sprinkled on top. However, the hashgacha is all chalavi. Ima Burekas in Talpiyot separates pareve on the left and dairy on the right, and the person who serves you uses a different spatula for each, and will put them into different labeled bags if you ask. Most of the chain bakeries are a big mishmash, but their burekas tend to be far inferior, so who cares.


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