Kosher Cheeseburger? Anyone?


cb.jpgAccording to an article in the NY Blueprint, a Kosher, Manhattan restaurant (“Talia’s”) is now offering a Kosher cheeseburger – made with soy cheese.

The following are excerpts of the article:

“After many attempts to melt the cheese, they found the right temperature in a 1950 degree (F) broiler. A broiler so hot it can cook a steak in minutes. As the chef placed my burger in the broiler I watched the cheese melt over it. He placed it on a toasted bun topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles and I walked my burger back to my table.

Like myself, Effie (owner of the restaurant), had never had a cheeseburger before, so he brought some non-Jewish friends to try out his new burger and they loved it. He told me that he’s had some lactose intolerant, non-kosher, customers order the burger.

With my cheeseburger, side of fries and a coke, I felt like I was in a diner of a classic old film, another experience we kosher-eating-Jews don’t have in New York.

While I may not know what a meat and dairy cheeseburger tastes like, I can tell you that Talia’s Steakhouse will serve you a well-prepared kosher cheeseburger with all the looks of the real thing.”

(Source: NY Blue Print)


  1. Kosher cheeseburgers (with meat and soy cheese, or with soy meat and real cheese) is an alte ma’ase.

    The first time I tried one, a couple of decades ago, I got sick to my stomach almost immediately. Haven’t had one since.

    I think 1950 F is a typo. Aluminum melts at 1220 F.

  2. before you were only able to order a milchig cheese-burger with a veggie/soy burger, now you can have a fleishig burger w/ soy cheese. maybe they will have philly steaks on the menu also (also basar v’cholov)

  3. I think the idea of it is attrocious! as they say “azoi vee s’goisht zich, yidisht zich”
    You could find a way to kosherize everything. But if it wasnt created kosher, leave it alone. You managed without it for the past 5,768 years.
    Don’t start now. It’s all a matter of controling your taavos.

  4. Is there nothing we can do without? People need to remember we’re in Golus, and not only do we need not be like the Goyim, we MUST not be like them, and do what they do, etc.

    In fact, I’m almost sure there are numerous ehrliche Yidden who wouldn’t be able to bring themselves to eating this symbol of the Goyim, whether koher or not.

    Furthermore, we have always been able to survive in Golus by keeping ourselves different from our Goyishe neighbours.

    I wonder what our Gedolim would say about this.

  5. Listen, if it’s mutor and will give a yid some parnosso – I’m all for it. When you look through the marketing hype – all it is is just business. Nu, so what the sandwich has an extra something on it – it shouldn’t prevent us from buying it.

  6. I suspected when opening the “comments” that a least one person would have to hock about “being like the goyim.”

    So, tell me, do you use parve creamer in your coffee after a fleishig meal?


  7. my son used to eat soy bologna. one day for lunch he wanted soy bologna and soy cheese. we told him NO – but he was a bigshot Pre-1A kid, so he made his own and took it with him. all the kids started staring at him – so the Rebbi went to see what was going on. luckily the Rebbi is a soy eater himself and knew that my wife gives healthy choices for lunches.

    this was the first and last time my son brought that combo to school.

  8. Dear Donutman (#11),

    No I don’t use Pareve creamm but have black coffee when the need arises, despite my dislike of its taste. I do try not to give in to my taavos too much. It’s not so terrible.

    Kol Tuv

  9. Eating a Kosher “cheese”burger is not worse than eating in a Kosher Subway. Last time i drove down Avenue J by the look of the line in there, there are many Frum yidden who dont agree with the concensus of the feedback here.
    Call it Taava, call it Goyish, call it whatever makes you happy but bottom line, it seems these ideas are here to stay.


    There are a million and one ways that you should improve YOURSELF befor dumping your “chumros” on others. If you don’t want to eat it… don’t. for those who want it, labriut, eat it. Simple.

    I agree with donut man… also, ever ate PAREVE cheesecake? Same thing.

  11. This story underscores the term:
    “Kosher Chazer Fissel.”
    Kosher in appearance but treif in essence.

    So too “kosher” bacon bits. IMHO this reeks of Chazer Fissel.
    “Mock” crab. “Kosher” pepperoni pizza.
    Why do we need these items? Why?

    Creamer is not bosor b’chalav. Coffe is pareve.
    The Chicken is not mixed in to the coffee.
    Hence there is no comparison.

    Pareve Cheesecake doesn’t look like basar b’chalav. If pareve cheesecake had salami on top, I would agree with you.

  12. It seems that every kosher rest. now carries sushi. Imitation crab and all. no one seems to make a big deal about it. I dont think they ate sushi in slabodka.

  13. The SA YD 87 specifically forbids cooking meat in almond milk unless there is something to show that it is not real milk. For this reason OU policy is to disallow pitchers of creamer on the tables at a meat affair, but will allow it only in single serving labeled cups or in the original container. (Source, OU food service handbook which brings the aforementioned source.) What is served after meat is no longer being eaten may not be an issue. I wonder what recognition they are using both when cooking and serving it. I suggest that before eating it you should check with a halachic authority to see if he agrees that what they do is enough.

  14. I’ve had the fake cheesburger thing both w/ fake meat and fake cheese. Fake meat is better. But, I’ve eaten them at home, not sure I would do so in public.

  15. one of my rabbeim from elementary school told us that he just can’t bring himself to eat pizza because when he was young there was no such thing as kosher pizza….it was a goyish’a zach. he didn’t tell US not to eat it. as a matter of fact we even had pizza parties for siyumim and stuff. this whole thing is a matter of personal feelings and sensitivities. if you feel weird eating the kosher cheeseburger then don’t eat it……more for me!!!!!

  16. Um, isn’t there a Chazal that says that for every issur, Hashem created a me’ein of that issur which is muttar, even gilui aroyos?

    So, what’s wrong with a kosher cheeseburger?

  17. There is a halacha that we are not supposed to mock non kosher food. I think the phrase is “efshi efshi aval ossur” or something like that. Thats why we get schar for observing kashrut because we have a taavah for non kosher food. its not disguisting its just that hashem assured it. So if you combine non chalav cheese with bossur then as long as it is known and advertised as soy cheese there is no problem. However, in a situation with a little kid coming to school it could be maaris ayin. It all depends on the situation. In fact there are halachos in yoreh deah that talk about drinking milk that was in the cows udder when it was schechted with meat and the halacha is that a siman is required when eating them together.

  18. Shazam, You must be referring to the famous Gemarra about Yalta, The wife of Rav Nachman who stated that for all Issurim we have a way to nevertheless enjoy it in some form. Examples include a certain fish that tastes like Chazir, or liver with the taste of Dam, and of course Kchal with the taste of Bosor V’cholov


    “SaCanTa ChoMur MayIsura!”

    A white flour bun, filled with growth-hormone and antibiotic-laden hamburger meat, combined with high-estrogen soy “cheese,” served with high-sugar (or, in Diet Coke, Aspartane-laden) Coke, with trans-fatty fries, is a formula for accelerated aging and a heart attack or cancer.

    Find something better to copy!

  20. I’m sketchy on the details, but I once learned a gemara that said that every non-kosher food has a kosher food that parallels it in taste. The gemaa gives various examples and does not seem condemnatory of those who eat those foods in order to experience the taste of the non-kosher food. So what’s all the fuss?

  21. All you complainers out there – do you eat chinese food, pizza, pasta, sushi, or even something from kd’s texas grill? Goyishe food! Aahhh!

    Gimme a break. Find something else to complain about. In an age where we’re struggling to keep many teenagers frum, let’s stop the hand-wringing.

  22. ok so maybe it’s not assur. but how about ‘maris eiyin’? I can’t understand how someone w/ a ‘yiddishe gefeel’ wouldn’t eat it.
    would anyone display a cake shaped like a pig, for example, on their table, let alone eat it in public. I highly doubt it. definitey a a “kosher chazer fisel”

  23. This is horrible. Why do we have to copy everything from the goyim, as if there isn’t enough food and taavah going on already? Next thing they’ll be serving is kosher pig. Uch!

  24. Pareve “cream” is nothing more than a toxic chemical soup, containing artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and G-D-knows what else (you need a checistry degree to understand the ingredients). Whay would anyone in their right mind swallow this stuff?

  25. To Feif Un #19

    I was beginning to get chalishas hadas until I saw Willi’s excellent comment in #32.

    What you do not understand is the following:
    I do not “blame” the OU if their Rabbonim allow it.

    I do however have the following question for the OU and to all consumers:


    Chazer Fissel means showing how something looks from the outside. But forgetting what it is from the inside.

    I don’t blame the store or the OU from an ingredient perspective.

    I do not UNDERSTAND them from a chinuch kosher perspective.


    If enough people were outraged at this they would not sell it. It is because we the consumer demanded it. Why? Why?

    Do we not have enough legitimate (gefeel included) kosher items?

    Please answer the following question feif un: Why does an FFB have to be toem tam something they never had.

    If G-d forbid you have a taava for a real cheeseburger will this veggie burger do the trick?

    What is going on with us?

  26. Right everyone – we now go back to the basics – food direct from the ground or tree and we do it ALL ourselves at home. DON’T buy any ready made food, make your own lokshen, bread, cake, mayonnaise, pickles, preserves etc. and leave all processsed foods alone, they are after all, inventions of the goyim. We’d actually all be a lot healthier if we did.

  27. I recall back in 1979 watching Rav Mendel Weinbach, Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Somayach, look on in horror as someone was receiving a hot dog with pareve cheese melted on top at the yeshiva canteen. It must have been that SA quoted above, but he had them drop that item from the menu.

  28. People ask: Why would someone who eats kosher want to eat a mock cheeseburger? Well, according to the people I know who eat non-kosher, cheeseburgers taste better then regular ones. This isn’t about following the goyim. Its about eating something that tastes good.

    Maybe there are some of you out there that are on pure vegeterian diets, which is probably the healthiest type of diet for adults. Maybe some of you only eat a bit of beef on Shabbat. In all seriousness: good for you!

    But many people don’t. We eat unhealthy things like hamburger or peanut butter by the spoonfull or chocolate bars on occassion or even cheese cake, real and mock. We eat things because they taste good. If people want to try something because it has a reputation for being good and now its kosher, how is there more of a problem then drinking a Coke?

    One final things: this whole discussion seems to be predicated that there is some sort of ‘Jewish’ food. There is not to much of that really. The food we consider Jewish is pretty much similar to all eastern European food (and is not the healthiest).

    Even the chulent we eat … potatoes are from America and Sephardi chulents are quite different then anything I’ve seen served at the average Ashkenasi Shabbat meal here in the US.

    Finally for those tracking the history of all of this: historically people ate what was available. Thank G-d, we live in an age of plenty, where the real problem is overeating (though food prices have now begun to rise). Now we have the luxury of variety from things found throughout the world and have alternative food types that provide new tastes or are healthier. We should be thankful for that and not fearful. If you like sushi and can afford it, its healthier then meat and even basic things like bread have improved over the last 20 years.

  29. Interesting – Before the 16th century, no Jew had ever seen a potato – they were brought from the “new world” – but it soon enough made it into the cholent, no? Before then, no one had seen a turkey – same reason – but no one assured it,and we commonl;y eat it now. Bananas were not introduced into most Jewsh communities, even in Eretz Yisroel, until the past century. The list goes on and on – Pizza, pasta, Sushi, etc… and whatabout ice cream? If eating k’minhag hagoyim was such a big issue when the food itself is kosher, you would think our rabbonim and gedolim over the past 500 years would have had more to say about it. Lets see rather that our restaurants and shops are making a kiddush hashem by maintaining proper health standards, paying their workers k’das vadin, and adjusting unhealthy things like trans fats. That would be something to praise. Why are the mislonenim here less concerned about e Coli or near-slave labor of illegal immigrants in our establishments?

  30. Everyone can be machmir …on themselves.

    Doesn’t anyone out there remember the excitement when Entenmann’s…Drakes..Milky Way..even Bazooka Joe(Israeli kind) getting hechsherim? Did we not have our fill of Sova or Paskesz or Bloom’s? Of course, but there was a burning curiosity, gee,how WOULD a Yodel taste?

    The heimishe brands, combined with ‘Secular’ brands with a Kashruth symbol, and those heimishe hechsherim with stuck-on-labels on top of the secular-brand-packaging all allow us to purchase anything.

    Years ago, the concept of a store where EVERYTHING was kosher, and you could take a child there who could buy ANYTHING without having to worry about non-kosher was unheard of, except maybe Israel.

    Admittedly, Bossor Be’Chalav is VERY different than eating a food without a hechsher, but the desire to have what Johnny has has always been around; ain chodosh tachas hashemesh

  31. #26 From what you’re saying I’m assuming that if someone would ask for a cheeseburger to go they wouldn’t give it to him because once he eats it outside the store nobody knows anymore that the cheese is soy.

  32. This is making me too hungry.

    Anyway, anyone complaining about this kosher product should not eat turkeys, potatoes, Chinese food, pizza, turkeys, tomatoes, chocolate…

  33. can u stop comparing a CHEESEBURGER to pizza & tomatoes?
    the point isn’t (only) that it comes from the goyim, we’re dealing with the issue of maris eiyen,/ basar v’cholov. what do pizza tomatoes & chocolate have to do w/ it?????

  34. Personally, I think this is bizarre. I often see people buy their parve chulent for lunch on a Wednesday, and then add a slice of cheese, with chocolate milk on the side, figuring they can never do that on Shabbos.

  35. #50 all the food you mentioned are just not american food nothing to do with treif.

    #31 nobody said there was something wrong with eating soy cheese but there is something wrong if you eat it with meat.

  36. Don’t laught guys, there ARE some people who don’t eat turkey because there is no mesorah on it.

    But, all other matter aside, and I am of the opinion, generally, that if it is 100% kosher go for it… my thought is one of chinuch.

    A well known yeshiva, (I will not mention the name ) was serving cheeseburgers for lunch for years once a week. Of course, the “meat” was soy and parve, and the cheese was cholov yisroel. But it was later leanrd that 2 different parents complained, at two different years, that their kids tried putting their cheese on their real hamburgers at home, and they had to kasher stuff.
    The kids did not understand what they did wrong.
    “But, Tatty, we get this in Yeshiva every Thursday!”

    May some ahmharatzeem look, see, and think “even the frum looking are eating this stuff.” I guess it is okay now. I especially question take-out issues. hmmmm

    Just a thought.

    By the way, I doubt it will succeed. Have you ever tasted soy cheese? I could not get past the awful smell. I have to keep it on hand, because my einekel is deathly allergic to any dairy. She eats the stuff. I serve it to her, then wash my hands 3 times with different soaps to get the horrible smell off. YUCK

    Actually, even if were milchik… it would be noisein taam lifgam.?.? lol

  37. if u r hungry? eat. it’s kosher. if u r full? don’t eat no matter what. for avodas hashem eat! as long its kosher. strengthen yourself for avodas haborei. we have 1 shulchan aruch, all other ask your local rabbi for each case.

  38. What about Maaras Ayin?

    Are we really so deprived that we have to stoop

    so low?

    When one sees you eat this, they will

    think that you are eating a real CHEESEBURGER,


  39. i don’t have the time or the care to read all the comments left here. I think the underlying problem is not the issur or the look of an issur, the underlying problem is we feel we have to do and have everything like the goyim. You as an adult may be able to know the difference between eating a sandwich like a goy and then not going out and acting like a goy, but our children may not. If we imitate them in our eating why not talk like them, or have fun with them or chasvesholem other things with them? Where do you draw the line? I am not a yeshivish person, not did I even graduate from one. I am just a frum jew looking out for the best of other jews and the future of our children. The story of the frog in a gradually boiling pot of water comes to mind…..when will we stop and look around for a minute.
    I am scared for the next generation.

  40. L’maase the only reason people are getting excited about this new shtis, and that people want to taste on so bady, because they know good and well that it is a hot goyishe item on the mcdonald’s markdet, so it must be delicious. If this Restaraunt talias wouldve said they found a way to coat chicken bottoms with pareve cream cheese at a melting point- nobody wouldve batted an eyelash. just because it’s a coveted CHEESEBURGER, straight out of mcdonalds advertisements. so dont go hocking about that it taste good, blah blah blah. Youre’ just excited a hot goyishe food became kosher. and you want to feel cool by eating a CHEEEEEEEEEEESBurger!

  41. What about kosher for pesach cereal? Or kosher for pesach cake that looks remarkably like cake that’s chametz? And kosher McDonalds in Israel? Or the Israeli tivol products that are designed to not only look like meat but taste like it as well? Get off your high horse. If you don’t want to eat it, don’t, but don’t pretend there’s any difference between kosher cheeseburgers and all the other imitation food we eat.

  42. the writer,who said NEBACH is very correct. i am a yeshiva guy(not yeshivish)cool with it and et all. I grew up in the 70’s know about jewish(real jewish music,Pirchei etc)beatles, etc. BUT and again BUT,WE differentiate between KOSHER and NON KOSHER. Jewish(ly)ROCK and ROLL or as some of todays kids(at risk and not at risk)say with a BEAT. is NOT jewish music. How can anyone today compare the Yiddishe heimishe music of the pirchei with todays so called jewish “RAP” music? The yetzer hora had to destroy music also.and if the yetzer hora got his foothold into our music,why is anyone surprised about kids at risk.Sushi,or Cheese burgers?Regardless what anyone says,it is Mareh Ayin,and most of all it is nauseating,to say the least. Again I am not a frummie,nor am i pushing any chumros,I myself eat at Kosher delight,china glatt,etc. But enough is enough. This generation of EXCESS,3 Million dollar homes,in Brooklyn,and 500,000 catskill homes,Lexus,etc,etc. makes a persons stomach turn. We never had it so good. How much is enough? Those of you who read this message,and grew up in a heimishe yeshiva,with heimishe parents,and rabbis,might understand where I come from.G-D help us.