Halal Food Guide - Pork

by - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Why "Halal Mama"? Because there's only halal food on our table. But what exactly does it mean? You can read the basics in the what is "Halal"? tab on top of the page, but let's get into some details.

You probably know that Muslims don't drink and don't eat pork, right? But is that all?

Well, there's more to it - there are quite a few ingredients that I need to be careful with in my kitchen. They are haraam - forbidden, foods and ingredients that need to be avoided. But, while some people would think that Muslims are missing out on certain foods, there are many alternatives available. 

I'll make this a small series of posts on haraam ingredients and how to replace them in halal cooking. So, whether you're an "old" or new Muslim, have a Muslim spouse/partner, cater for some Muslim friends or just being curious, I hope this little guide will help.

(Please note: I have no professional knowledge myself, all the information comes from the research.)

First up: PORK.

Meat from the pig. Fresh meat, ham, bacon, sausages... You name it. It's specifically mentioned in the Qur'an as forbidden for consumption - 2:173, 5:3, 6:145, 16:115. (Just so you know, it's also mentioned in the Bible - see Levicitus 11, on clean and unclean animals).

[Although I've also come across scientific reasoning, and wanted to include that here, I won't dwell on it - after reading through different opinions I don't want to claim that pork is unhealthy, unable to back it up with 100% proof.]

Well, with all the other meats and poultry I don't really miss the pork as such. But what if I fancy, say cheese and ham toastie, or a hot dog? Or a good English fry-up? There are quite a few alternatives.

  • turkey/chicken "ham"

  • chicken hot-dogs (I've also seen beef ones)

I've noticed, however, that this hot-dog sausages, although marked halal, have carmine (red colouring, questionable) on the list of ingredients.

  • turkey rashers

  • meat-free products - always a safe alternative

"But the taste isn't the same!"

Of course it isn't. But does it mean it's worse? 

Stay tuned for somewhat related post on gelatine!

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