Must-read tips to keep Kosher and Halal while cruising in Halong Bay
There is a number of odd misconceptions regarding what Jews and Muslims can or cannot eat while cruising in Halong Bay, and some confusion happened cut matters. Here is must-read guide to help you merrily keep Kosher and Halal and make your trip truly enjoyable!
1. Kosher vs Halal – Difference and Comparison
|KOSHER||HALAL||Jewish dietary laws||Islamic dietary laws|
|Allows the consumption of alcohol; grape juice and grape wine must be prepared according to Jewish law||Prohibits the consumption of alcohol or any food that contains alcohol as one of the ingredients|
|Prohibits the consumption of aquatic animals that do not have both scales and fins||Allows the consumption of aquatic animals|
|The animal must not suffer an agonizing and painful death and blood should be drained||In order for the meat to be considered Halal, the name of Allah should be said before slaughtering each animal|
|Does not allow blood, some types of fat, and the sciatic nerve to be consumed||Allows any body part or organ to be consumed but not blood|
|Dairy and meat should not be mixed||Allows dairy and meat to be combined|
|Kitchen utensils used to prepare a non-Kosher dish should never be used to prepare Kosher food||Kitchen utensils used to prepare non-Halal food can be considered Halal again once sanitized according to the religious laws|
You can see: The obvious difference between them is that Halal is the dietary law for Muslims whereas Kosher is for Jews. So, what are the differences in detail:
- While Halal allows the consumption of any edible aquatic animals, Kosher forbids the consumption of any aquatic animal which does not have both scales and fins.
- Halal does not permit the consumption of alcohol or even food that contains alcohol but Kosher law allows the consumption of alcohol as long as it is made from Kosher ingredients, and grape wine and grape juice should be prepared according to religious methods.
- Both Halal and Kosher allow meat and dairy, but Kosher specifically prohibits combining both (30 mins before eating meat or 6 hours after eating meat)
- Eating pork is prohibited by both laws. In order for meat to be considered Halal, however, the name of Allah should be said before slaughtering each animal. Blood is unfit for consumption according to both laws, but the Jewish law prohibits the consumption of the sciatic nerve and some types of animal fat. Furthermore, the Jewish law also requires that the animal must die a painless and quick death and that blood must be completely drained from the body of the animal by hanging the animal or by processing the meat with salt.
- Halal requires that the kitchen utensils used to prepare Halal food should not be used to prepare non-Halal food. If they are used to prepare non-Halal food, however, they can be used again as long as they are completely sanitized according to its laws. For the Jewish people, kitchen utensils that have been used to prepare both meat and dairy are considered unclean and should never be used to prepare Kosher food again.
2. Do Vietnamese eat Kosher or Halal or have dietary law to follow?
As you may know, the religions which take the most percentage of population in Vietnam are Buddhism (14,91%) and Christian (7,35%, mostly Roman Catholic). There is a small number of Jews and Muslims living here but most of them are foreigners.
For Buddhist and Christian in Vietnam, dietary laws on vegetarian days generally are: totally say no with Meat. Buddhist even does not permit the consumption of seafood while Christian does. You can obviously see that it is much stricter than Muslim and Jewish. Hence, when you come to Vietnam and order some vegan food (which called “an chay”), they will definitely give you vegetables or some special Vietnamese vegan food which may look like non-vegan food.
Vietnam is known for its fresh and flavorful foods that people around the world have grown to love. Even Gordon Ramsay touts his obsession with Vietnamese food!
3. Notify the Cruise in advance
4. Take 5 – star Cruise for special exclusive Halal menu
However, you need to be aware that typical Vegetarian menu provided for you on cruise is: Braised tofu, leafy green salads with sesame seeds and sweet radish dressings, and traditional rice and noodles… to name a few which is really simple, and may be cooked by the same utensils with non-vegan food (clean but not sanitized correctly following the law).
If you want some special cuisine, exclusively for Halal, you should consider taking 5-star cruise, such as Mon Chéri… They have a separated kitchen for Halal foods which are cooked by foreign chefs with well equipped Halal Cooking Certification. They also provide special menu for Halal lovers which definitely surprise you with good taste.
The luxury cruise lines of Halong Bay always take dining very seriously, and consider the cuisine to be an important part of your Halong Bay experience. They have made every effort to make sure that you not only enjoy the food while you cruise the seas, but that you go home while still are dreaming about it.