The first time I have found out about the meaning of this word I was in Venice’s Jewish ghetto. Persuaded by a friend, I took part in a guided tour about kosher food tasting, a thrilling itinerary which revealed all the scents and flavours of the Jewish-Venetian’s food and wine culture. A kaleidoscope of flavouring, tasting and zest, in which every single aspect of the several existing communities gather together thanks to food culture.
The noun ‘kosher’ literally means ‘proper’, but it summarises within many other meanings such as ‘pure’, ‘authentic’, ‘genuine’. This sort of food must indeed answer to precise requirements of ‘kosherut’, cast-iron dietary rules prescribed by sacred Jewish literature, such as the Torah.
We experienced it personally when we were served cookies and ‘cicheti’ made of selected ingredients, coming with a rigorously kosher wine. We toasted all together by yelling “L’chiam!”, “Cheers” or literally “To your health!”, and right then I felt as being part of a community.
Kosher cuisine, I must admit, has been an authentic discovery. I dare to say, it is a fusion diet which sums up many different cooking traditions, but it is also a real joyful diet regime for everyone affected by intolerances and allergies and people careful about the quality and the selection of feedstock. More than 35 millions of people in the world embraced the kosher cuisine, a remarkable amount indeed!
Venice is made of magical places, full of holiness but also original flavours. It is really worth a try to savour them all in order to know the different aspects of a city continuously making everybody jaw-dropping! L’chaim!!!