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The Friday 5: Top Trayf Cravings


An observant friend of mine celebrates Purim every year with a ‘trayf night -” the one night a year he willingly – even actively – eats non-kosher food. Purim, he figures, is all about shaking things up and turning daily realities upside down (well, that and getting wasted). What better night to indulge in all the delicious trayf foods he abstains from the rest of the year? Whether you’re a total trayf abstainer, an occasional trayfer, or an everyday trayf eater – here is a list of the unkosher foods that Jews love to hate.
Shrimp Cocktail – Shrimp started the Reform movement – no really! According to Wikipedia, “On July 11, 1883, a dinner was held in Cincinnati celebrating the ordination of the Reform Jewish seminary's first class of rabbis. It was a sumptuous feast of Little Neck clams on the half shell, soft-shell crab and shrimp salad, along with beef fillet and ice cream. The meal quickly gained notoriety for abrogating every rule of kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws, except the prohibition against pork.” Judaism never tasted so good!
Bacon Cheeseburger – What other food offers not one, but three different opportunities (milk and meat, unkosher beef, and sweet, sweet bacon) to trayf it up in one, delicious bite? All the melty, porky goodness…the thought even makes this vegetarian a little weak in the knees.



Lobster – Remember that beautiful blond girl who sat in your English Lit class at Princeton? You know the one. She ate lobster – she ate it on beautiful china at the family country club, delicately cracking open the claws and dipping the meat in a rich buttery sauce? Keep dreaming yid kids – lobster may be fancy and sophisticated, but it’s trayfer than the day is long.


Clam Chowder – Whether you prefer the creamy white kind from New England, or the tomato-tinged version from Manhattan, there’s no denying that a bowl of warm clam chowder dotted with salty oyster crackers holds a special place on a cold, rainy day. Unless you don’t eat clam, in which case, pass the matzah balls!



Pepperoni Pizza – When Subway went kosher, the cheese got sacked – because if you have to pick between meat and cheese, the choice for most Jews is painfully clear. Not so with pizza. Since the dawn of the first pizza, Jews have had to suffer through milchig-only pies.

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