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September 16, 2005



It's not just the absence of pork, but the certification of all the meats as halal (slaughtered according to islamic law).

Maintaining halal certification costs money, and if the expense does not improve sales, businesses may not see the benefit to getting certified. Besides, a fair number of muslims are quite liberal when it comes to food, as long as there is no pork, they're fine. No need for halal chicken or beef etc.

Jeremy Osner

I hate, hate the apparent fact that lamb does not appeal to the American palate. It is my favorite meaty flavor but not too be found at non-"ethnic" eateries; except steak houses which generally have it in chop form with mint jelly. If BK had lamb burgers I might go there. Well probably not but still.

Dr. Free-Ride

Of course, not even the fries at McDonald's work for vegetarians (because of the ever present beefy flavor components). Then again, many herbivores of my acquaintance wouldn't cross the threshold of Mickey-D's for the most pristine of beef-free fries because they think the corporate model is evil. That probably takes more effort to fix than halal certification.


My favorite halal burger joint is Beurger King Halal in the banlieue of Paris. My favorite all time name for one, too!

Jeremy Osner

Is the "g" soft, like boor-ZHER king?

Jeremy Osner

XXX -- or rather, " boor-ZHAY king"

ben wolfson

It's true that lamb is possibly the best meat there is.


Jeremy: it would be "BEUR-ger King" ("beur" is a rather rude term for a French North African).

Halal meat in Europe is a real racket by the way; there are any number of dodgy imams hanging around prepared to certify almost anything as halal as long as they don't actually have pigs on the same production line, and there is no central authority as there is with kosher meat to ensure consistent quality (which is a shame as halal meat is kosher but not vice versa).


The thing that seemed funny to me about the Halal rules mentioned in the article was that someone had to come inspect the place _3 times a day_! Is that normal? I'd asume they don't actually do any slaughtering there, too. No wonder McDonalds finds it too expensive. And lamb is awfully yummy, except for the bones.


Um, mais non. "Beur" is not really rude per se. It is in common usage to describe the first wave of Maghrebine immigranats to Paris in the 1960s. Parisian slang, which inverts a word after splitting it in two, is called verlain, which is itself slang for l'invers. It is not a written language, it's mostly spoken. So beur is arabe in verlain. Other words are meuf (femme), trome (metro), teuf (fete). Nowadays, people don't really say beur anymore, they say reube--verlain for beur.

ben wolfson

(which is a shame as halal meat is kosher but not vice versa).

Isn't it the other way around? I know that halal foods do not form a superset of kosher foods.

John Emerson

It's the tendon.

ben wolfson

If that's a comment about kashrut and ... the laws concerning halal meat, the tendon isn't kosher either.


mos halal meat is kosher because there is no pork in a halal slaughterhouse and the animals are killed by cutting their throats and then drained of blood. Kosher slaughtermen do not usually say a verse from the Koran while doing their job though, so the meat isn't halal.


dsquared---I thought rabbis were necessary to complete the kosherness of meat? Presumably most halal slaughter houses don't employ shochets either?

Alan Baumler


You don't need a rabbi to make meat kosher, nor do you need to say any prayers at any point in the process. Most of the modern Kosher-certifying organizations do have rabbis inspect things, but there is no requirement that this be done


It's actually a large intersection between halal and kosher; neither is a proper subset of the other.

Paula Helm Murray

I'm rather pervy on this subject in that I LIKE mutton Full=blown adult slaughtered sheep. It used to be a choice at several of the local barbecue restaurants (Bryant's among them), but now is gone.

but Jack Stack has chosen to serve Lamb Ribs (basically smoked racks of lamb rib chops). Yummm. (that is also a quote from Esther Friesner... "lamb ribs, yummmmm"!"--we took her there the last time we did the Nebulas in Kansas City).

Gary Farber

"...(which is a shame as halal meat is kosher but not vice versa)."

Theory and practice may differ just a tad slightly here. This is likely true somewhere, sometime, but it surely has little to do with orthodox beliefs among either religion in America, both of which would quickly smite anyone proclaiming this. (In the vaguest sense, it's surely true.)

I hope no one opening a restaurant anywhere tries to follow this folk belief, as they're apt to wind up with, at best, very unhappy customers once they've consulted an authority.

(And I'm an atheist; I wouldn't be passing on such obvious stuff if it weren't in reply to, um, less reliable information.)

See, say, here and here.

Gary Farber

Another way of looking at it is that I grew up in a neighborhood of Brooklyn that became increasingly Jewish as I grew up (Midwood), and then became increasingly Moslem in later years, and after many subsequent visits, I'm pretty sure that anyone saying what Daniel claims would have the crap beaten out of them no matter where they proclaimed this interesting theoretical belief, for the past thirty years, save perhaps at one of a handful of interfaith meetings. It's a theory I've heard before, from academics, but not from anyone living with the folks. As such, it's pretty much a, so far as my completely limited experiences go, not safe belief to work under.


This reminds me of my good ole Pizza Hut days when it was my job to man the lunchtime buffet. We had many Islamic customers,and they naturally wanted to know if there was any pork in the vicinity.
So for all of you who ever wondered:
There is pork in Pizza Hut's Sausage.
There is no pork in the beef.
But now pepperoni. ... its a happy conglomeration of all sorts of things! Including pork.

Jeremy Osner

There is no pork in the beef.

That's a relief. What about the turducken?

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