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spicy food

Rabbi David SperlingTevet 10, 5773
212
Question
I cut onions with a fleishig knife (hasnt been used in 24 hrs), then put them in a fleischig food processor (hasnt been used in 24 hrs) and want to fry them (latkes) in a fleishic (eino ben yomo) pan. are they fleishig? Does it matter that the pot is eino ben yomo because its onions? can i eat milk after it?
Answer
Shalom, Your question touches on an interesting aspect of kashrut. Generally taste that has been absorbed into a vessel or silverware only comes out via heat. Also, when the vessel has not been used for 24 hours we relate to the taste that does come out from the vessel as "pagum", that is it does not have its original status, and so does not transfer a forbidden taste. (This law about things that have not been used for 24 hours is only used after the fact - we never knowingly use forbidden vessels, or meat vessels for milk or vice versa, even if they haven't been used for more than 24 hours). [Because of this it is always worthwhile asking a rabbi a question before throwing away food cooked in the wrong pot – it could well be that the food is kosher, even though you will generally still have to re-kosher the pot.] So, based on this, we would think that the food in your case does not become "meat", as all the vessels had not been used for meat in the previous 24 hours. However, because you cut an onion with a knife, a special law applies. When "sharp" foods (such as onions or garlic etc) are cut with a knife, the pressure of cutting with the knife draws out the taste of the knife into the onion, even though there was no heat involved. Along with this, the knife also draws out tastes that are more than 24 hours old. This last point, however, is debated amongst the rabbis, with the ashkenazim generally being strict, whilst the sephardim are sometimes more lenient. With this in mind, it turns out that your onions are "meaty" because they were cut with a "meaty" knife, and unless they were nullified in more than 60 times their volume (which I doubt), the food you cooked is also "meaty" and cannot be eaten with milk, nor on milk plates. However, one does not have to wait the usual time (3-6 hours according to your custom) that you would wait after eating meat. This is because the onions, whilst being considered as "meat", do not have all the strictures that eating actual meat (or foods cooked together with meat) have. Blessings.
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