Post # 1
FI is bi-racial. Half Chinese/Taiwanese, and half Russian Jew. His family is pretty reform, but I grew up with mostly Jewish friends (and I’m considering a conversion, this was before I met FI). A lot of my Jewish friends are conservative.
I don’t eat meat, but I have to know because I’m not making it a vegetarian wedding:
Would it be horrible if there was pork and shellfish at the wedding? I would also like to accomodate the Chinese guests at our wedding, and since many of them are older Chinese family friends, they will have problems with the western food. Chinese people really like roast pork, and I was thinking about bringing in a separate roast pig.
If the non-kosher food was handled separately, and all the way on another side of the room during the cocktail reception, would you still have hang ups about eating the other food? Even if you knew that no pork or shellfish had ever touched the serving platters, or the pans that the food had been cooked in?
Post # 3
It reaaaaally depends how observant the individual guests are.
Orthodox Jews probably wouldn’t eat at your wedding because the ovens/pans had at some time touched non-kosher food, rendering it all non-kosher. Basically, you’d need a kosher caterer for them to eat.
People like me who keep kosher by not mixing meat/milk, avoiding shellfish/pork, only eating meat butchered kosher-ly, would be fine for the most part–worst case scenario they’d get the vegetarian meal because they worry about the meat preparation. Most Jews in America though (even the ones who consider themselves conservative) are way less observant and so they’d end up eating the pork lol.
I think it’s sweet you’re even worrying about this! Just ask FI whether his family is super observant or not (hint hint: if they eat out at regular restaurants, they will probably be fine with pork being there as long as it’s not on their plate).
Post # 4
I guess it would also depend on whether or not you’re having a Jewish wedding.
My fiancé is Korean but were having a pretty traditional Jewish wedding. So were not doing any pork or shellfish for dinner. We’re undecided about having shellfish during cocktail hour. We might do that.
But if you’re not really having a Jewish wedding, then sure, why not?
Post # 5
totally depends on your guests. do a lot of them keep kosher?
Post # 6
It definitely depends on if the guests are kosher. HOWEVER, myself being from an incredibly reform/non-religious Jewish family, we still don’t really eat pork. (I am actually a vegetarian ) but the rest of my family stays away from pork for the most part. It’s kind of just a cultural thing in certain families. I would definitely check to make sure. It is kind of hard to make generalizations about entire cultural groups when discussing food (such as saying “Chinese people really like roast pork”… well maybe some do but not all of them.)
Post # 7
Sorry, I realized I was pretty unclear. I made it seem like we’re having an interracial wedding because it’s his family we have to accomodate. I’m Chinese/Taiwanese, but I grew up with mostly Jewish friends.
I made the generalization because the Chinese guests at the wedding will mostly be my family friends. I’m trying to find the balance between Chinese and Jewish and unfortunately it’s hard because pork is a popular ingredient in Chinese cooking. When you walk into the Chinese supermarket, most of the meat they carry is pork. Roast pork is something which is popular in the community I come from. I know my parents and their friends would really appreciate having food that they like, and are familiar with at my wedding because food is something my parents usually complain about. But you are right, not all Chinese people like roast pork, even when I did eat meat, I really hated it. I just don’t want my parents, and their friends to be at the wedding and go hungry because they don’t see anything to eat. A lot of them are still really traditional and old-fashioned, and they stick to eating Chinese food. They don’t really like, and won’t eat western food. My mom even wants me to just have a traditional Chinese wedding, which basically means rent a restaurant and all eat Chinese food. It’s not something that I really want, which is why it’s important for me to find this balance. I don’t want to be the selfish child that just had this wedding and didn’t think about the comfort of my elders.
As for his family, they’re really reform. I’m pretty sure they eat pork. Not so sure about the shellfish, but I’m okay with not having shellfish. But it’s my friends I’m worried about. Many of them are conservative, and keep strictly kosher. One of my friends couldn’t even eat at school because of the whole oven/pan preparation thing.
I was wondering if it would be okay if I had brought in the roast pork from a separate caterer. It would have never touched any pans or servering platters used by the venue. This would only be for the cocktail reception. I’m not planning on having any pork or shellfish during the seated dinner. If this was the case, and the pork was nowhere near the rest of the food (all the way on the other side of the room), would that be okay?
Or I could have food catered separately by a kosher caterer, set on a separate table from the rest of everything else. Would this be acceptable, and would you eat it even if there was other non-kosher food around on other tables?
Post # 8
@Shlieka: Any food brought in by a kosher caterer and using new/kosher plates would be totally acceptable to eat, even if pork is in the room (you’d just want to make sure people know this so they will eat).
I’m not sure you even have to go that far though if it will really only affect 1 or 2 people (like vegetarians, people who keep kosher know going in that they have to adjust and will seek out someone to ask questions and make sure they prepare). I’d ask around your friends to see what they are comfortable with–for example, I’d have no issue at your wedding, I’d just order the vegetarian meal. If it’s just a few people, a kosher caterer could bring in a few prepackaged meals.
Post # 9
Ok great! Thank you guys so much ^_^ I do have a good number of friends who do keep kosher, as well as a number of friends who keep halal, so I think the kosher table will hold over anyone who is kosher/halal.
@bearlove: That’s a great idea, I didn’t even know that they made pre-packaged meals. Maybe I’ll just do this for people with strict religious dietary restrictions (I have some very strict vegan/gluten-free/ Haru Krishna friends as well)
You did answer my question though, I just wanted to know if it was acceptable that pork was in the room. I’ll definitely make it clear that the food has been separately handled and is okay to eat for people with religious restrictions.
Post # 10
I think as opposed to bringing in the pork seperatly like you mentioned, your guests who keep kosher would be more comfortable if their meals were brought in seperatly. Also, as others mentioned, it depends on if the wedding is a Jewish ceremony or not. It also depends on your officiant and their level of comfort. Remember though, it’s your wedding, so do what makes you happy!
Post # 11
I think the suggestion of bring separate pre-packaged meals for kosher/halal friends is a good idea. You are having a Chinese wedding, do not worry about your guests, many would make do with a vegetarian option.
I have observant Jewish friends and we go out to all kinds of different restaurants, never a problem for them. As you well know, a huge number of Jews go to Chinese restaurants on Christmas day.