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What Is Kosher Fruit?

By Glyn Sinclair
Updated May 16, 2024
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Kosher refers to food that is prepared and cooked in accordance with Jewish tenets and laws. Some of the laws can include restrictions on eating certain types of animals and ensuring that the blood has been fully drained before consuming them. Using utensils that have not come into contact with non-kosher foods and employing specific kosher cooking methods are some other rules related to kosher food. Kosher fruit refers to basically any fruit that does not have an infestation of insects or bugs, and because of this the fruit is typically inspected before being consumed. Grapes used for wine products are not considered kosher if the wine is prepared and manufactured by people who are not Jewish.

Whole grapes do not fall under this restriction and it usually only affects wines and juices derived from grapes. Certain fruits like strawberries and raspberries tend to have more bug infestations and as such are more problematic when attempting to classify them as kosher fruit. It is often thought that for a food item to be kosher it needs to have been blessed by a rabbi. This is not typically the case as many foods are considered to be naturally kosher as long as they still adhere to the basic tenets and laws of the Jewish faith. Fruit grown in a garden is considered to be kosher as long as it is free from insects and bugs.

Fruit may be deemed kosher until it is mixed with other food items that are considered non-kosher. These can include animals and birds of prey, as well as shellfish. It is often difficult to ascertain whether or not modern processed food items are kosher, and because of this a rabbi is often employed to check the food or fruit before it is consumed. Dried kosher fruit also falls under this law and is typically checked for bug infestation as well. There is also a Jewish law, or orlah, which states that any fruit taken from a tree that is less than four years old is “prohibited” and therefore cannot be consumed.

Jewish communities across the globe each have their own regional cuisines. The one common factor tying the cuisines together is the law that governs the preparation and cooking of each food item, kosher fruit included. The laws are sometimes known as kashrut, and are found in the Torah. The Torah is the law of God that was told to Moses and written down in books pertaining to the Hebrew scripture.

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Discussion Comments

By honeybees — On Aug 01, 2012

When I think of types of food that are considered Kosher, the first thing I think of is meat and pickles. I have never personally known someone who closely followed the Jewish laws. It seems like there are many regulations to follow, and I wonder how hard it is to be familiar with all of them.

I realize that many of them have been taught and handed down from generation to generation. I would also be curious to know if it is easier or more difficult to find Kosher food to eat today as compared to years ago?

When it comes to fruit, I can certainly understand why they would want this to be Kosher. I don't know anyone who would want to eat fruit that was infested with bugs.

By julies — On Jul 31, 2012

I am not very familiar with Jewish customs and had never thought about fruit being non-kosher. If I have fruit that has bugs on it, I would either wash them off or just not eat that piece of fruit.

When fruit is growing it is hard for me to imagine that insects and bugs aren't on this fruit at some point. At what point do you know if it would be considered Kosher or not?

I also find it interesting that Jews were prohibited from eating fruit from trees that were less than four years old. This says something about the maturity of the tree being important as well.

By bear78 — On Jul 31, 2012

@turquoise-- I know most of us think that kosher just applies to meat, but it applies to all food products and even more.

I agree with @burcinc, if you have fresh fruit and check for bugs and clean them properly, then it's already kosher. The exception is grape juice. I actually asked my close friend about grape juice. She has studied the religious texts and is a lot more knowledgeable than I am.

She said that around the time that Judaism was founded, pagans used to use wine and grape juice in a lot of their religious functions. If the Jews had consumed these products that were offered to pagan deities, they would be sinning. For this reason, the Jews were prohibited from using grape juice unless they made the grape juice themselves.

By burcinc — On Jul 30, 2012

@turquoise-- Hey! It's not offensive at all. It's great that you're trying to learn more about this.

Fruit itself is kosher, it's only when there are bugs in the fruit that it becomes non-kosher. So it's the insects that Jews are not allowed to consume. That's why all fruit products must be properly washed and cleaned and checked for insects before eating.

If you bit into an apple and saw that a worm was inside, you wouldn't eat that apple would you? That's what is done in Judaism as well. Fruit that is clean and free of insects is called kosher for this reason.

If you eat canned or frozen fruit products though, those have to be certified as kosher by a Jewish organization. Because there is no way to purify them after that point.

I hope this makes more sense now!

By turquoise — On Jul 30, 2012

I don't understand the concept of kosher fruit. I understand kosher meat, but how can fruit not be kosher? Do Jewish scriptures specifically say that bug infested fruit is forbidden? And if so, what is the reasoning behind it?

I wouldn't want to eat bug infested fruit either. But sometimes organic apples have dark spots on them, even though there are no bugs inside. I don't mind eating those. In fact, some doctors say that these fruits are better because the fact that insects eat them means they are all natural and without pesticides.

I hope I have not offended anyone with my questions. I'm really curious about the concept of kosher. I do eat some kosher products like hot dogs from the store even though I'm not Jewish. I believe kosher products are healthier and safer.

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