“Never before in the history of Passover” says 26-year old Jack Silberstein, founder of Jack’s Gourmet, “have Jews had sausage.”
To be more accurate, there has never before been “kosher-for-Passover” sausage, an achievement which requires the developer of the product to adhere to the strict requirements of the laws of
keeping kosher, which disallow pork products and other meat products from non-kosher animals. In addition to limiting what many would consider a necessary ingredient for proper sausage, the animals which can be used must also be slaughtered according to a prescribed method, making the meat ritually kosher as well. To add to the complications, on Passover there are additional restrictions which proscribe many ingredients, chief of which are leavening and certain other various food items.
So what made Silberstein, and his partner, 64-year old dentist Alan Broner, decide to team up and enter what until now was forbidden territory?
Last year they shut down their Newark sausage producing factories for the week-long holiday of Passover, and they decided that this year they would stay open by producing a kosher-for-Passover version of their already regular kosher sausages.
Silberstein and Broner’s sausages avoid pork products by substituting with chicken, turkey and/or other kosher meats. Their usual recipe was adapted to be suitable for Passover, and has already sold 60,000 pieces this year. (Passover began last Friday night, and ends one week later.) Kosher grocery stores around New York, ShopRite and stores across the country are selling Jack’s Gourmet Sausages this year.
Jack’s Gourmet is run out of Broner’s home on Montgomery Street in Crown Heights. In addition to Jack’s Kosher-for-Passover sausages, Jack’s offers other specialty ethnic sausages, including Jamaican Style Jerk Chicken and Mexican Style Chorizo, all strictly kosher.
Their taste for good sausage has won them accolades from some of New York’s most exclusive kosher restaurants, including Prime Grill, Solo and Prime KO, where Jack’s is used in stuffing and soups.
“I can make sausage empanadas now” said David Kolotkin, Prime Hospitality Group’s top chef. “It gives me more products to play with.”
So now that Silberstein and Broner have conquered the kosher-for-Passover mountain, what can we expect in the future?
“We are going to do kosher bacon next” Silberstein said.