An Unsavory Schmear


Kraft is rushing in where Ritz feared to tread.

Unlike Bacon Flavored Ritz Crackers (which boast the highly reputable O.U. symbol on every box), Kraft is producing a new cream cheese that's got bacon in it. Not artificial flavoring. Not Bac-Os. Real bacon.

Needless to say, this spread is not kosher, but the OK, which certifies other Kraft cream cheese products, released a memo saying just that — and more. Ten other Philadelphia cream cheese products, including Philadelphia Original Fat Free Cream Cheese Spread, Milk Chocolate Cream Cheese Spread, Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Cream Cheese Spread, and Strawberry Fat Free Cream Cheese Spread, have also lost their certification because they are made on the same production line as the new bacon spread. The original Philadelphia cream cheese has been spared.

When the world’s first kosher cheeseburger is a thing of the past, it’s a wonder that kosher bacon cream cheese remains a forbidden fruit — especially when Jews are known for schmear, artificial flavorings and engineered food. The landmark parve (not meat, not dairy) burger was created by harvesting stem cells from a portion of cow shoulder muscle that were then multiplied in petri dishes to form tiny strips of muscle fiber. The five-ounce burger, requiring 20,000 strips and costing $325,000 and two year to make, is still far from market viability. So, nu — why can’t they do that for cream cheese?

Bac-O Bits, used to add a crunchy kick to salads and sides, is kosher certified and has long been a hit among Jewish circles. Morning Star Farms Veggie Bacon Strips can peacefully coexist on the diary shelf of a kosher refrigerator. And, of course, the latest entry into the kosher bacon pantheon: those Ritz crackers.

Is it only matter of time before Kraft catches on to the trend?