what to take (to eat) when kosher is not available
Thought it would be an interesting topic to see what others do for kosher when kosher is limited or not available.
Since I started the topic I'll give a few of my suggestions:
Firstly, I think it depends on where your going...
I have a caterer prepare me meals, double wrap them and deep freeze them. then let the ships kitchen staff handle it.
U.S. Locations & islands without restuarants but accessable to kosher product:
breakfast: cereal & milk,
lunch: sandwiches, pb&j, cream cheese, tuna etc.
dinner: frozen meat brought from home and disposable grill or forman.
Area's without easy access to kosher product:
breakfast: if milk is an issue in an area not being able to rely on r moshe's heter, then local eggs, made on my sandwich maker and frozen bread toasted on sandwich maker
lunch: sandwiches, pb&j, cream cheese, tuna etc
dinner: mini crock-pot and bring dried pasta's for it, beans, barley and local potatoes, yams, carrots, and anything else i can find (and frozen meat if i'm able to, otherwise not). then i pick up fresh veggies and fruit to add to all meals.
of course haagan daaz is a staple of my trips as it seems you can buy that anywhere in the world!
anyone have any good suggestions to add to the list?
(I have not listed those labreut self heating meals, but i suppose some people will suggest those as well.)
before 9/11 it was alot easier as I try to fly with just my roller board and if it doesnt fit it then its not going
Back then I would pickup a can of food per day, in Boro Park theres a take out store that vaccum packs meals in a can the same food he would sell you if you were taking it home, and its OK. Its already cooked so just let hot water run over it for awhile. After 9/11 unless Im checking a bag no go. So I take along a couple of pkgs of cookies.
It also depends where Im heading if theres a Religious community in that city or not. 2 pkgs was good enough for the 3 days I just spent in japan a couple of weeks ago. I figured UA was gonna fed me on my IAD-SFO & SFO-NRT flights and my NRT-LAX & LAX-IAD so that would help out. (i had already cleared 1st for my domestic flights and UA serves meals even KSML in 1st domestically) however my plans went South with both of those Dom flights as I was able to VBD both for a $400 voucher each time
The problem is mainly outsiude the US if there isnt an established religious community where you are heading. No way am I taking along meals to put into every Hotels fridge, I hardly ever stay in the same Hotel more then 1 night. I dont suggest anyone doing this if tey are travelingwith a wife and/or kids or a girlfriend
and since if Im not having a Shabbos stay I usually do not end up checkingout the Jewish community when traveling as its usually not at all comvinent to where I want to be and what i want to see, so I simply wingit and havent had any problems in the decades Ive been doing it
It greatly depends on if you have an access to refrigeration facilities
and if you keep chalav yisrael/if you trust chalav akum of destination.
On the other hand, it's a bit easier if you don't hold strictly to bishul akum
and can ask the hotel to do the "baked-kosher-fish-with-skins-on-in-a-
Most hotels I know would not serve something you bring from outside,
unless it's from a caterer they trust/use.
Also it may not be practical to bring crockpot/sandwich makers etc.
I'm assuming a more restricted case without access to fridge, (but
small kettle/emersion heater), no local processed/packaged kosher
food supply, no supermarkets nearby.
Tinned fish (tuna, salmon, sardines), vegetables (sweetcorn, beans),
vacuum-packed vegetables (mini potatoes, beetroots) dunno if they still
make it or not but hummous in ambient package (the one you add water).
Couscous. Instant soup/noodle soup, "Lebrioyot" ambient meals with
internal heating source. Dry cereals, fruits for snacks/breakfast.
Baked goods (pastry, bagels) would last a few days without refrigeration.
I can easily last 1 week with the above and occasional supplements of
also, why assume no fridge? theres hardly any hotel where you cant get a fridge, especially if u explain its for medical or religious reasons.
btw, you would assume the minicrock pot is impractical, but it really works like a charm and if you get one small enough it wont be a big inconveinence. mine has been to more countries then many people i know and cant even count how many meals its given me!
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Many take places will vaccum pack food (as noted by Craz above). The stuff seems to me to last a week without refrigeration and I never had a problem taking it in my carry on.
I take the flat pack tuna fish (not the cans) as the cans sometimes get stopped by security and the flat packs never do (they are also easier to eat on the road).
Meal Mart and a few other companies sell the equivalent of La Briut meals without the heating element. You need a microwave or some other heating method, but their are no halachic problems heating them in non-kosher equipment. (Though if you ask hotel staff to heat them, it takes a lot of explaning that they should not be removed from the packaging before heating (and even then I've had problems on occasion)). They also have some shelf stable fish packages that are edible cold.
I take cholov yisroel milk powder with me (it tasted mediocre, but it works for my coffee)
Whole wheat crackers and energy bars (of all sorts) are other staples of kosher travelling.
It really depends on your situation, but even when kosher food is locally available, I usually bring along because I am too busy to go shopping
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a few years back my wife and I went to Scandinavia for a couple weeks. We brought a small duffle bag of food and did lots of research where we were able to resupply and have meals in kosher restaurants or for Shabbat.
We brought frozen meals - knowing we'd have a fridge and microwave at our destination - and self heating meals, plus cookies, crackers, and other non perishables for constant snacking.
my experience with this trip actually inspired me to start YeahThatsKosher.com. I'm hoping you could all contribute with your experience and expertise as well.
I seek out Kosher food to avoid shellfish (severe allergy) but can eat tuna. Good idea about the foil packs.
Had real problems in New Orleans recently where most places use the water from cooking shrimp to make rice.
There was also shrimp 'juice' in many salad dressings.
How about more details on that mini-crock pot?
very interesting about the shrimp, Thanks for posting although I wont eat anything that I know isnt under proper supervision, I know people who say what can be not kosher about it, I can now refer to this
Got one many years ago from walgreens for around $10. has dents in it from travel but still works great. I fill the pot with clothes to prevent the inside from cracking and put it in my suitcase. i pick up all sorts of local produce and bring small boxes of dry rice, beans, barley, pasta etc. depending on the distance that im traveling and local availability, i may or may not take frozen meat to add to my stews etc. i turn it on in the morning on low with a note to the hotel maids not to turn it off. when i come back that evening, i have some delicious nourishing eats (that the entire hotel floor can smell, btw!) between this and a good breakfast, i can usually got by pretty well.