The halal food market is expanding rapidly. But while some see the opportunity, others seem to be trying to downplay the religious belief in marketing.
Samir Sarmast's appetite for adventure had long ago surpassed that of his mother's South Asian cook. He likes spicy enchiladas, Jamaican jerky chicken, Texas-style barbecue, and feline cheesesteak sandwiches.
But one thing has not changed. He still follows his Muslim family's practiced dietary guidelines, which, among other things, forbid alcohol and pork, and require the animals to be slaughtered with prayers. And while once Muslim-majority neighborhoods are looking for certified food (translated as "allowed") to purchase special rented goods, many of them are now Can be found from mines to Hawaii.
"The halal thing is that you can cater to any population," says Sarmast. It can be halal Mexican, halal sugar, halal Greek. If you cater to different people, different foods, you will attract the crowd. "
Sarmast is a Muslim of Indian descent, and he has the reputation of being a socially influential group that is growing this crowd. Through popular blogs, videos, and social media, these Muslim Americans are just trying to get food trucks, street vendors, and faithfully remove halal from the kitchen. These new halal foods, or self-proclaimed "Hallows", have boosted the momentum that is attracting non-Muslims to halal food in their favorite restaurants and homes. This has led some Muslims to question whether the process is losing its essence.
"It's a place of thanksgiving. Thank them for sacrificing the lives of its animals, and thank God for allowing this meat to be eaten."
"Halal is not just a basket of food," says Sarmast, who hosts Samir's Meals, a video blog where thousands of people call it pizza, soul food, and even beef or turkey bacon. Go to the New York area to see a sample of food and drink. . "Now, non-Muslims are saying, 'Wow, I want a piece of this burger.' "
In addition to Samir's meals, other popular halal food blogs include Amanda's Plate by Seattle's Amanda Saab. My Halal Kitchen by Chicago's Yoon Mafi ما Zabiha by Shahid Amanullah of Washington, DC. And the Chicago-based Melika Amen Information Site. These sites provide restaurant and food reviews, recipes and suggest alternative ingredients that would otherwise make "haraam", or haraam food halal.
This practice requires that the animals be slaughtered by a specially trained and authoritative Muslim who recites the name of Allah before cutting the throat of the animal. In addition to banning alcohol and pork, Muslims are only trying to eat halal foods. They should avoid gelatin, enzymes, amplifiers, and certain flavors if they cannot be sure that they are halal. Animal antibiotics and hormones are also out. Genetically modified foods and ingredients are generally acceptable if they are engineered with halal biology, but not if animals have difficulty preparing them.
Many Muslims consider halal food essential in their relationship with God.
Writing My Halal Kitchens from Chicago and Turkey and publishing a book of the same name in 2016, I swear by "Sacrifice, Intention, and Consciousness." "It's very deliberate and dedicated to God. It means we can feel good about what we're eating.