Jewish dietary law – kashrut, or, keeping kosher — prohibit the mixing of milk and meat. That means there’s no such thing as a kosher cheeseburger (assuming, of course, that the burger is made of meat and the cheese of milk), and therefore, no such thing as a kosher Big Mac, the latter featuring “two all beef patties” and “cheese” as well as special sauce, lettuce, pickles, onions, all on a sesame seed bun. (Didn’t know the ingredients? This video will help.)
But as depicted at the top, there is such thing as a kosher McDonalds. Most are in Israel, as one would expect. In fact, all but one — the one pictured – is in Israel. The lone exception?
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
While many would have guessed places like Brooklyn, Buenos Aires — Argentina’s capital and largest city by population (just under 3 million people) — is a haven for Orthodox Jewry. There are as many as fifty Orthodox synagogues in Buenos Aires, more than in the entire country of Venezuela — which, with 15, boasts the second most in South America. The official Jewish population of Buenos Aires is roughly 200,000, but local community leaders believe it to be as much as twice that. (By comparison, London has roughly 200,000 Jews, and Paris 350,000, the largest of any city not in Israel or the U.S.) Even by the low estimate, Buenos Aires is home to over one percent of Jews, worldwide, so, perhaps surprisingly, it’s as good of a place as any for a kosher Mickey D’s.
The one pictured is at the Abasto Shopping Center and only serves meat dishes, so no, you cannot get a kosher cheeseburger there. But if you want one of the non-kosher variety, travel site Frommer’s notes that you need not go far – there’s a “regular” McDonald’s across the food court.
Bonus fact: There’s no kosher restaurants in Newport, Rhode Island, let alone a kosher McDonald’s. (In fact, there are no McDonald’s there at all.) But Newport is home to the oldest still-existing synagogue in the United States — the Touro Synagogue. Originally dedicated in 1763, the building — unlike the rest of Newport — was spared destruction by the hand of British troops during in the American Revolution because its founder, Isaac Touro, convinced British forces to use it as a hospital.
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Related: “The Outsider’s Guide To Orthodox Judaism” by Rabbi Arnie Singer. Five stars on six reviews.