What Is Halal? Eating According to Islamic Beliefs | Dennispoint Campground MD

In Islam, the Koran, among others, prescribes very precisely what believers can and cannot bring to the table. Pork and alcohol are taboo for Muslims, other foods are allowed.

What is halal food?

“Halal” is an Arabic word that translates to “permitted.” In relation to nutrition, it means the foods that devout Muslims can eat. The antonym “haram” defines prohibited foods, which include alcohol, blood-containing foods such as sausages, carrion, meat, and other pork products. Gelatin, for example, which is found in many sweets, yogurts and cream cheeses, is not allowed on the Halal diet. If the meat comes from another animal, such as poultry, beef, or lamb, it must have been processed in some way in accordance with strict Islamic law. Halal slaughter is similar to Jewish slaughter and the concept of kosher food.

It is not always easy to recognize what is halal

There is no uniform Halal certification for food, which means that it is not always easy for Muslims to select which products are allowed in everyday life. In industrially processed foods in particular, there are often “haram” components that cannot be recognized at first glance. Fruit juices are clarified with gelatin, fermented foods like sauerkraut may contain small amounts of alcohol. In the case of sausages with natural casing instead of artificial casing, it may come from pigs. Fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, fresh milk, and vegetable oils are classified as safe. Those who want to eat processed animals are safe with specialties like sucuk sausage (be sure to try our menemen recipe and our pide-mit-sucuk recipe) if they come from Islamic countries.

What’s so special about Sucuk sausage?

Sausage sucuk is a specialty common to many countries. However, it is mostly associated with Turkish cuisine. It is also becoming more and more popular in this country. Raw sausage usually consists of beef, veal, or lamb and is halal. It gets its strong, very spicy aroma from pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, allspice, garlic, and cumin. There are different production methods: Sucuk sausage is usually air-dried and, more rarely, smoked.

In addition to Turkey, the sausage specialty is also widespread in the Balkans, several Arab countries, and some Central Asian states. In Muslim regions, veal, cow or lamb are mainly used for roasting. In other regions, sucuk is also made with pork, in countries like Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, even with horse meat. The sausage can also vary in appearance, there are basically three different types: the Kangal sucuk is offered in a ring shape, the Parmak sucuk consists of two individual sausages joined end to end, and the Büfe sucuk is a single long sausage.

Sucuk sausage is used in different ways and eaten on various occasions. Fried in slices and combined with scrambled or fried eggs, as in our Menemen recipe, it is a popular breakfast dish, for example. Due to the relatively high fat content, the sausage can be fried in its own fat. It is also sliced ​​and served on flatbread as an appetizer, usually fried or grilled beforehand. An example of this is our Pide mit Sucuk recipe. In pies or meatballs, the sausage serves as a spicy filling, cooked with vegetables, it can be part of a main dish.

A delicious alternative: Merguez Spicy Chorizo. Especially delicious in merguez with a cucumber salad!

Shopping and cooking according to Halal

Halal products can be found in Turkish and Arab stores, among others. There are also foods with a halal certificate, which however is not controlled by the state like the organic label, for example. In case of doubt, it is worth asking the manufacturer of the products. When cooking, you can use Arabic recipes as a guide, and Turkish cuisine often meets these requirements. However, fast food available in Germany, such as kebab, is generally not halal, as the killing of animals is prohibited in Germany for animal welfare reasons and the meat would have to be imported by the snack food operators.

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