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Serving Pareve Foods

Serving Pareve Foods


Pareve food can generally be served with either meat or dairy meals. Some kitchens have serving and mixing bowls, pots, and knives used exclusively for pareve food. These are always washed separately from meat and dairy dishes. One should also have separate dish sponges, dish towels, and draining boards.

If a pareve food, however, is cooked or mixed together with any meat or dairy products it becomes respectively either meat or dairy and all laws pertaining to meat and dairy apply, including the required waiting times.

If the pareve food has only touched the meat or milk food, then washing the food is sufficient to keep it pareve, if the two items that made contact are room temperature, and neither was a sharp or spicy food (such as those mixed with onion, lemon, pickles, etc., see Sharp and Spicy Pareve Foods, below). If washing is impossible, cut off a layer from where the foods came in contact.

Pareve Foods Cooked In Meat or Dairy Utensils: When a pareve food has been cooked in a clean meat pot, one is generally required to serve that food only on meat dishes. A waiting time is not required before eating dairy food. Similarly, pareve food cooked in a clean dairy pot is generally served only on dairy dishes, and a waiting time is not required before eating meaty food.

If one cooks a pareve food in a clean meaty pot and wishes to serve it during a dairy meal, or vice versa, one should consult a qualified rabbi as to whether the circumstances would make it permissible.

An important factor to bear in mind is whether the pot or utensils used to prepare the pareve food have been used with hot meat, or washed in hot water together with meaty dishes, within the last twenty-four hours. If so, this pareve food may certainly not be eaten with dairy products. The reverse is also true; if the pot or utensil used to prepare a pareve food has been used with hot dairy, or washed in hot water together with dairy dishes within the last twenty-four hours, then this pareve food certainly cannot be eaten with meat products. The waiting period, however, is not necessary.

Sharp and Spicy Pareve Foods: Using sharp and spicy foods such as onions, garlic, lemons, and pickles may change the pareve status of the food with which they are prepared. Sharp and spicy foods which are cut with a meaty knife are considered as a meat dish and may not be used with dairy foods, and vice versa.

If a sharp or spicy pareve food is cooked in a meaty pot or prepared with meaty utensils, even if the meaty pot or utensil was not used for hot meat food or washed in hot water together with meaty dishes within the last twenty-four hours, that pareve food may not be eaten with dairy. The reverse is also true; if the pot is dairy, the sharp or spicy pareve food cannot be eaten with meat.

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Learning NYC August 22, 2017

Thanks for this article. I am preparing to have a kosher kitchen for the first time. I think I understand the principles you've outlined here. But what if one eats a fleishig meal, and then wants to have a cold parve dessert? What kind of dish can the cold parve dessert be served in? Reply

Rochel Chein for August 28, 2017
in response to Learning:

If the dessert was cooked in a clean fleishig/meat pot, then it should be served on meat dishes. If it was cooked in a dairy pot, a rabbi should be consulted regarding serving it after a meat meal.

Good luck with your kosher kitchen! Your local Chabad rabbi can help you with setting up your kitchen. Find a rabbi in your area at Reply

Learning August 30, 2017
in response to Rochel Chein for

Thank you. If it is parve 'ice cream,' for example, can it be served in a milkig dish after a fleishig meal?

I will definitely have the help of a local Chabad rabbi going forward. Thanks again! Reply

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