Keeping Kosher in Southwest Washington

Keeping Kosher in a location like Southwest Washington is far more difficult than in areas like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.  Many who move to the area may feel adrift because of this.  To help ease this concern, here are some tips for buying Kosher in Olympia and the area.

 For the latest in Food Safety and Kashrut Alerts, please click here.

All major grocery stores, such as Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC, Safeway, Haggen and WINCO carry Kosher foods.  These vary from store to store, but in general, baking and cooking products, canned tuna, canned vegetables, baked goods, dairy and frozen deserts can be found with Kosher Certification.  In addition, Fred Meyer and QFC stores in our area carry kosher bread, which can be difficult to find in many other stores.

 

Trader Joes carries Kosher breads, rolls and Challah routinely.  They also have FRESH Kosher poultry and/or meat available, and various Kosher wines.  If you don’t see what you are looking for, check with the staff, as they may be able to order it for you.

In addition to these local stores, there are stores available in the Seattle Area that have large amounts of Kosher foods available, very much like you would see back East.  These include:

  • The QFC store in University Village, 2746 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105 – This store has a full service Kosher Department, including Deli, Meats, Dairy, Bakery, etc.
  • AffordableKosher.com –  This store is an online full service Kosher Food store.  They carry a huge variety of Kosher foods which can be shipped to the Chabad House of Olympia, for pickup on specified Wednesdays. Affordable Kosher no longer has a minimum order, so feel free to order whenever and whatever you wish.
  • For those who travel to Portland, there is a Safeway in Portland with a large Kosher section.

 

How do you know it’s really Kosher?

Kosher foods carry a seal certifying their Kosher Status.  This seal may be referred to as either a Hekhsher  (from the word Kosher) or a Hashgaha (from the word Hishgiach, which means to supervise).  There are over 1,000 different Kosher Certification symbols world wide.  In the United States, there are several common ones to look for.  These would include Nationwide or Worldwide Organizations such as:

  • The Orthodox Union  Click here to see their latest update on Kashrut
  • Star-K Kosher Certification
  • Kof-K Kosher Supervision
  • Scroll-K Vaad HaKashrus of Denver
  •    OK Kosher Certification
  • Vaad HaKashrus SeattleVa’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle

For information on other Kosher Supervising agencies and their symbols, please visit kashrut.com/agencies/.  On Kashrut.com you can also sign up for periodic notifications of problems with Kosher Food.

For a pamphlet you can print and take with you showing common certifications, please click: koshercard.  Thank you to Penny Wilson and Dave Pierik for making this available.

If you have any other questions, please contact Rona Matlow (ravyaron @ gmail.com)

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