[UK, USA] Since God’s law was handed down to Moses, religious Jews could only look with longing at a plateful of delicious prawns or shrimp – forbidden as non-kosher according to their strict dietary laws.
But at last even the most devout can enjoy the taste of the seafood, in the form of a synthetic substitute.
Called Shr!mp, it is made by taking red algae – which the crustaceans feed on – and baking it with a plant-based protein powder.
The innovation gets around an edict from the book of Leviticus – first written down about 3,500 years ago, according to scholars – forbidding Jews from eating animals from the sea unless they have both fins and scales.
The relevant verse says: ‘Whatever in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales… shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest.’
But soon kosher restaurants will be serving up the alternative that is said to taste and even feel like the real thing.
The chef at kosher restaurant White Fish in North London said: ‘If it’s something customers feel comfortable eating, there’s no reason not to serve it, as long as it’s approved as kosher.’
But others questioned whether the innovation was in the spirit of the religion. Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, of Maidenhead Synagogue in Berkshire, said: ‘If it’s not real shrimp, then technically it’s kosher.’
‘They might then get the impression it is acceptable to do so.
‘So it’s probably better not to eat fake shrimp. We’ve survived 3,000 years without it and I’m sure that we can continue to get by.’
The lab-grown shrimp is made by US firm New Wave Foods. Founder Dominique Barnes came up with the idea to stop coastal wetlands being destroyed by tiger-prawn farming.
The firm said Shr!mp should be sold in the UK by late next year.
Photo: Shr!mp (not pictured) is made by taking red algae – which the crustaceans feed on – and baking it with a plant-based protein powder
View original article at: Synthetic substitute takes red algae and bakes it with plant-based protein powder