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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

A dissertation successfully submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for B.A. (Hons) Culinary Arts to the Dublin Institute of Technology.


The Jewish faith is the most ancient of the mono-theistic religions and is considered the first religion in the world that has a written set of rules. The canonical content of Jewish law (Hallakah) is contained in two places, the Torah and the Talmud. Both of these are the Jewish Holy Scriptures and contain the laws given to the prophet Moses on Mount Sinai. To non-Jews, perhaps the most well-known of Jewish laws are the strictures surrounding food and diet. These include inter alia, the non-consumption of pork and shellfish. These laws regarding food are in fact most ancient and concern not only the food itself and consumption thereof but also preparation, storage and service. This study focuses on the difficulties modern-day Jews face in Dublin whilst endeavouring to keep kosher. The main research question is:

Is keeping kosher in 21st century Dublin a challenge for the Jewish community?

The Jewish community in Dublin is not only a minority (less than 1,700 people) but is also in social science terms an invisible minority. When contrasted to the overwhelmingly Christian mainstream of Irish society where neither Catholic nor Protestant have any major strictures around food, this makes for a section of society that in food terms are left to fend for themselves in terms of provisioning. This study deals with the difficulties encountered by a shrinking community where the numbers required for critical-mass supply chain logistics are not present and examines the implications this has for the community trying to remain kosher.

Through a series of interviews and questionnaires, the Jewish community is examined and attitudes and opinions are sought in order to formulate the conclusions. The findings are in keeping with the original theory; that in short, the difficulties are very real and have an everyday impact on the food choices of those trying to remain observant at table. The challenges uncovered by the research are: cost of product, poor selection available, little availability and distances involved in making purchases. These continue to cause problems on a day to day basis for the community. The most influential factor affecting the community and its food habits is the size and numbers of those attempting to remain observant at table.