Hannukah Ham

Mike sends us, "Photo of supermarket shelf tag advertising boneless ham as 'Delicious for Chanukah.'"

Yes, yes, I know. Some wag at the supermarket moved the "Delicious for Chanukah" sign over by the ham. But imagine what a breakthrough it would be if, through some GM miracle, a Kosher ham could be made, and then served at Channukah, perhaps with latkes (you could use the applesauce for both!). Imagine.

Unusual Chanukah suggestion (Thanks, Mike!)


  1. There’s a diner in Calgary that serves smoked pork chops (kinda ham-like) with latkes and sour cream. So delicious.

    1. It doesn’t necessarily made from pig it is only possible to do so, and in fact in Israel (where I’m from) it is mainly made from fish bones which according to most Jewish groups is no a meat and it is OK to eat along side with dairy products (there is also gelatin that is made from cow bones but this are marked as Kusher:meat [as oppose to Kusher:Dairy or Kusher:Parve]).

  2. If someone could engineer a hog that doesn’t have cloven hooves or trichinosis, then you’d have a hog that could potentially be made Kosher – or at least could be treated as a Kosher product.

    I say “treated as” because, at that point, you would have a man-made creature (not God-made) that is based upon an established off-limits animal. So while your GM hog might fulfill the physical requirements to be Kosher, ethically, it would never be approved.

    I know this comment is tedious, so I apologize for that. But just imagine being one of the Rabbis whose job it is to declare what’s Kosher and what isn’t. I bet those guys are a real riot.

  3. The short story has already been written: Harry Turtledove (yes, the alternate history guy) wrote The R-strain about ruminant GM pigs being kosher about 15 years ago.

    1. THAT’s the one I was trying to remember. Surprised it took 10 posts for anyone to come up with that, considering the number of SF fans here. Maybe not much overlap between Turtledove and Doctorow readers?

  4. I’m not surprised. I once went to a pig roast (yes, a whole pig cooked in a pit) only to find out the hosts were Jewish.

    Not all Jews follow the dietary rules.

  5. Actually, I’m having ham and latkes this weekend.

    My partner’s family doesn’t do ham on Christmas while my family does, and I wanted to eat ham this season so we bought one, and my longtime friend is culturally jewish, but doesn’t keep kosher and offered to come and make the latkes to go with.

    Ham and latkes, jews and agnostics. It’s a miracle! ;)

  6. In his book Homo Politicus, Dana Milbank shares the story of convicted influence peddler Jack Abramoff who sought investors for a restaurant that would serve kosher pork. He purported to have found a species of pig in Asia that chews its cud. Cloven hoof? Check. Chews cud? Check. Kosher? Check.

    Pure unadulterated pigshit? Check.

  7. That one’s easy – vegetarians can get Tofurkey for Thanksgiving, and there’s vegetarian fake ham as well (mainly found at Chinese groceries for the Buddhist customers.) The fake salmon’s even better. You’re going from the soybean to the table either way, just processing it in a factory instead of a pig.

    The pork chops with latkes aren’t mixing religions – German goyim make potato pancakes for themselves, and whether they’re latkes is just a matter of whose grandma’s recipe you’re using (and whether you put ham in the potato pancakes, which too many German restaurants do.)

  8. I’ve seen first class citizens of the State of Israel barbecuing pork on Yom Kippur, so ham for Hannukah doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.

  9. Jews eating pork is like Catholics masturbating. It probably happens constantly, they enjoy it a lot, but they feel like they should feel very, very, guilty about it.

  10. You say “Yes, yes, I know. Some wag at the supermarket moved the “Delicious for Chanukah” sign over by the ham.” But I don’t think so. That looks like one sign to me; it’s not only lined up perfectly, but laminated. It might be two pieces of paper — one of several “Delicious for Chanukah” cards paired with a normal product sign — but if so they were purposefully laminated together and placed there. This isn’t just someone moving the sign when the boss wasn’t looking.

  11. “Some wag”? Seriously? Did my computer screen suddenly turn into the joke page from a 1967 Playboy magazine? How about “neer-do-well”, or “scalawag” perhaps?

  12. We of the Ultra Reform regard Hannukah Ham to be a fine, fine addition to the Shabbos table. If it passes health inspection, it’s kosher!

  13. Form talmud chulin we learn that something born to a kosher animal able to live for a year is considered kosher, in vitro fertilization?
    Force a bagged ham down a cows throat before slaughter, contents of stomach after slaughter are kosher(for rennet used in cheese manufacture)

    I remember a midrash that said the pig would become kosher as the world was repaired near the time of the messiah

    btw, the above tricks would be canceled out by marit ha-ayn, it appears bad to the eye on a torah not rabinical level

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