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What Is Kosher Candy?

Larry Ray Palmer
Larry Ray Palmer

The Jewish faith has strict dietary laws concerning every type of food that may be eaten. For a food item to receive kosher certification, it must meet certain standards provided within these kosher dietary laws. Kosher candy and sweets must meet the same standards as other kosher products to be considered kosher, or proper, for consumption by individuals who practice the Jewish faith. The certification of kosher candy is usually provided by an organization that includes rabbinical scholars and religious leaders of the Jewish faith to ensure full compliance with kosher dietary laws. While it is not essential that a rabbi or religious leader preside over the production of kosher candy, the strict religious guidelines of the kosher dietary law must be adhered to.

There is a variety of kosher candy available on the market today, including some kinds of chocolate, lollipops, some kinds of licorice and other candies. Kosher foods, including candy, are usually clearly marked on the label with their kosher certification or with the letters, K, U or P inside a circle. For those who live in remote areas and intend to fully comply with kosher dietary laws while satisfying their sweet tooth, online shopping for kosher certified foods can make the task easier.

A mix of hard candies.
A mix of hard candies.

To satisfy the Jewish dietary restrictions, kosher candy must be made using specially prepared kosher products, including any milk, eggs or other animal products. If non-kosher products, such as lard made from pork is used, the whole product becomes non-kosher. Even grape juice or wine is considered non-kosher for the Jewish diet if the product does not originate from a Jewish source and would be excluded from use in the making of kosher candy.

A girl wearing a kosher candy necklace.
A girl wearing a kosher candy necklace.

According to the Jewish dietary laws, certain animals are considered unclean, or non-kosher. These non-kosher animals include swine, horses and insects, so all of the animal products used in making kosher candy must be thoroughly evaluated to ensure the final product is kosher. While this statement may seem out of place in regard to candy making, because many candy recipes call for animal by-products, such as coloring (often made with insect parts) lard (made from rendered fats of swine or other animals) or gelatin (often made from horses hooves), the prohibition becomes more relevant.

Kosher candy avoids the use of lard and other animal by-products.
Kosher candy avoids the use of lard and other animal by-products.

In addition to restrictions regarding the food products used in kosher candy, Jewish tradition also states that certain religious customs must also be upheld during the candy-making process. When cooking kosher candy or other kosher sweets, the candy maker must be careful to follow the applicable Jewish traditions for food production, such as ensuring that ingredients which require tithing have been properly tithed by their manufacturer. In addition, Jewish dietary customs also require that the equipment used in the kosher candy making process remain kosher as well. If a piece of equipment is used in the process of making non-kosher products or comes into contact with a non-kosher item, it is considered to be unclean, or treyf, and therefore non-kosher. This strict dietary law often necessitates that kosher food producers specialize in kosher products only to avoid accidental contamination by non-kosher food products or equipment.

Discussion Comments


@bluedolphin-- I know how difficult it is to find kosher candies at local stores. Please purchase them online. There are so many options online and although you will pay for shipping, you can purchase the candies for a lower cost. Some even offer free shipping if you purchase candies totaling more than a certain amount.

I love candy and I always buy my kosher candies online. I buy them in bulk, so a single order lasts me for many months.


I don't usually buy groceries online. I'm always looking for kosher candy at stores and they're very difficult to find. We don't have many Jewish residents in our area, so most stores do not stock Jewish foods. Some stores do sell kosher chocolate coins for Hanukkah but then, they're not available again.


Kosher is not just about kosher ingredients that are properly cleaned, it's also about a kosher kitchen. Ideally, kosher products should not be prepared in a kitchen where non-kosher products are also prepared. And if they are, there must be separate sinks and separate equipment and kitchen tools for kosher and non-kosher items. The two must never mix, or the kosher items will be contaminated and will become non-kosher.

This is why I prefer to purchase kosher products like candy from brands that only prepare kosher foods and nothing else.

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    • A mix of hard candies.
      By: knostpix
      A mix of hard candies.
    • A girl wearing a kosher candy necklace.
      By: Image Source IS2
      A girl wearing a kosher candy necklace.
    • Kosher candy avoids the use of lard and other animal by-products.
      By: whiteaster
      Kosher candy avoids the use of lard and other animal by-products.
    • Candy can be certified kosher if it meets certain standards related to its preparation.
      By: Bert Folsom
      Candy can be certified kosher if it meets certain standards related to its preparation.