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Monday, May 16, 2011

Trader Joe's Organic Grape Juice--Is it Really Kosher?

A dear reader complains that 64oz of "Royal Purple" Kedem Grape routinely tops $8!! Another informs me that $10 is not uncommon in his small town. Is there an alternative for Jews in the far-less trodden, but no less loved, corners of our beloved country?

Well, leave it to R. Yitzchak Abadi to be two steps ahead of the game. According to his 2011 Pesach list, Trader Joe's Grape Juice is not only Kosher for Sephardim on Pesach, but get this, it's kosher for Ashkenazim too...year-round. (That last part was sarcasm, in case you didn't catch it.) I have pasted part of his list below: ('P' means 'Parve'; 'A' means 'Kosher for All')


Drinks
Trader Joe's
Water
Fruit Water (Watermelon, Raspberry Lime)
P
A
Drinks
Trader Joe's
Juices
Grape Juice
P
A
Drinks
Trader Joe's
Juices
Grapefruit Groove
P

A


To be absolutely certain I am not hallucinating, I double-check Trader Joe's online list of Kosher Products. Sure enough, Organic Concord Grape Juice is there...on the list!!!

I am too nervous words.... Tripping out of the house, I forget my reusable shopping bags. Thankfully, I am wearing a hat so as to avoid any potential Chillul Hashem at the check-out counter when I have to ask for paper bags. (This is a West L.A. Trader Joe's, mind you.) But I remind myself that I am a rabbi (and I should not be fiddling with legal loopholes), so I turn around and snatch our collection of bags made from an assortment of fascinating materials, such as recycled newspaper, soda bottles, hemp, and (don't tell anyone) cotton.

The Search begins well. I snap a photo of an OU on Joe's Kids White Grape Juice:


(And is that a cameo of Starbuck's Queen Esther???)

Continuing on, I find Joe's Kids Apple-Grape Juice, also with an OU!:


(Boy, am I having a Sunny Day!!!)

And then I spot it! The holy grape of my crusade...that small purple sunset, a 32oz bottle of Organic Trader Joe's Concord Grape Juice for the very reasonable price of $2.99:  


(Isn't she beautiful?)

But then I look again: 


(There is something missing)

I start to panic:


And then I really start to panic:


There is no OU, or CRC, or Half Moon K or Half K Moon... I have the helpful traders of Trader Joe's search the boxes in the back...maybe there is some 'Occipital K' that nobody has ever heard of somewhere on the box, but there isn't. We take turns staring at the bottle again and then at the list...  

And then I slowly put the Organic Concord Grape Juice back on the shelf, and fill my recycled shopping bags with other organic and non-organic things and return home--in the chilly night...the air still and quiet with subdued contemplation. 

6 comments:

  1. Don't leave us hanging! Did you e-mail R. Abadi to find out why it's on his list?

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  2. Not yet, today I spoke with R. Ralbag's sister at Triangle K regarding Welch's...

    I intend to call Trader Joe's tomorrow...I doubt R. Abadi supervises their grape juice...they could tell me for sure who is the supervising agency.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good idea. They do have it listed on this site, along with various hekshers that appear on products they carry: http://www.traderjoes.com/lists/kosher.asp#1

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oops, just realized you already wrote about the TJ's list! Sorry

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just want to know why the label doesn't say "Not From Concentrate". Seems it would be a good selling point.

    If it IS made from concentrate, don't they have to tell us?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great writing : ) I almost felt like I was at Trader Joe's...disappointed by the lack of kosher grape juice.

    ReplyDelete