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Is Trout Kosher?

River trout with dill on Shabbat kosher

People often think that kosher food is that which a rabbi has blessed, but the word means “fit” or “appropriate.” God proclaimed that vegetarianism is the ideal diet, but specific qualities make animals acceptable for Jewish people to eat.

 

Kosher animals must be slaughtered humanely to remain kosher, and catching fish is deemed humane. Fish like different species of trout, fall into the category of kosher food called “pareve,” meaning they are neutral and should not be cooked with or mixed with dairy or meat.

 

Kosher fish must have fins, scales and not be a bottom feeder, according to the Torah. A fish’s scales must easily come off its skin, either by hand or with a kitchen tool.

 

You have to see a fish’s skin to identify it and see if it has scales. Since many fish have white flesh, just seeing a fillet can not tell you if it is kosher or not. Unless you’re shopping at a kosher fish store, buying a fish fillet without scales is risky.

 

Only salmon and red trout fillets can be identified by their flesh alone since it looks so unique. If you see reddish-orange flesh, you know that the fish is kosher.

 

That begs the question, is trout kosher? Yes. Trout have small, thin scales that you can easily scrape from the fish with the edge of a sharp knife, so you don’t have to cut into the flesh. You can catch your trout to prepare or buy them with the skin on from the market.

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