Looking in her cupboard last week, Shulamis Labkowski got a morsel of unwelcome news. The mother of three from Oakland, Calif., inspected three bags of Trader Joe’s semisweet chocolate chips, a staple in her kosher kitchen. They were alike in all ways but one: Two of them had a small D on the label, meaning they were classified as dairy under Jewish dietary laws.
The changed label was tough to swallow. Kosher law forbids mixing meat and dairy at any time, but Trader Joe’s chips used to be deemed “pareve,” meaning they could be eaten with either meat or dairy meals. An avid baker, Mrs. Labkowski tore through five to seven bags a week to make treats without worrying about running afoul of the rules.
“If I couldn’t get the pareve, I’d have to resort to making something without chocolate. It limits your choices a lot,” said Mrs. Labkowski, 26 years old and the wife of a rabbi.
So, she rushed to her local Trader Joe’s and bought 40 12-ounce bags of the pareve chips still in stock at $2.29 apiece.
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