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Ritz Crackers Makes Kosher Bacon a Reality

The company’s new bacon-flavored cracker is kosher-certified by the OU

Hannah Dreyfus
March 26, 2014

Ritz Crackers’ latest foray into flavored crackers has yielded a rather unusual result: Bacon-flavored crackers. But though this delightful new addition to the cracker canon may taste trayf, they are 100 percent kosher—the coveted O.U. symbol will appear on the bottom left corner of every box, JTA reports.

But, like most things involving Jews and bacon, it wasn’t quite that simple. There was some serious debate over whether or not to give this bacon impostor kosher certification. According to Moshe Elefant, COO of the Orthodox Union Kashrut Department, the decision involved lengthy discussions.

“The reality is there’s nothing close to bacon in this product. There are artificial bacon flavorings that give the ‘bacon flavor.’ Nobody’s going to think this is actual bacon,” Elefant explained.

The real question: do these crackers really taste like bacon? (And, if they did, how would anyone at the OU know?) Rina Raphael, style editor for NBC’s Today Show, testified to the I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-bacon quality of the crackers. “These actually taste too much like bacon,” she exclaimed emphatically after sampling the product.

“It’s an interesting alternative as a vegetarian,” added Rebecca Davis, senior multimedia producer of the Today Show.

Elefant denied the remarkable likeness. “We’re not in any way saying that it tastes like the real thing,” he told JTA. “That’s not at all what our certification represents.” In the past, the OU has certified other trayf-imitation products, including Bac-Os Bits and a bacon-flavored mayonnaise from the J&D product line.

So will Rabbi Elefant be taste-testing the controversial new snack? “I’m not saying I wouldn’t eat it,” he said.

Hannah Dreyfus is an editorial intern at Tablet.

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