Shavei Israeli emissary brings more kosher food to Portugal
Shavei Israel emissary Elisha Salas has been at the forefront of bringing kosher food to the Jewish community in Portugal. Now the media is paying attention. JTA’s Cnaan Lipshiz recently paid a visit to the community of Belmonte, where Rabbi Salas is based, in the Serra da Estrela area (home to Portugal’s tallest mountain range). Tourists from all over Europe flock to the sunny Serra for its world-renowned sheep cheeses. And now for its kosher food.
Portugal’s tallest mountain range, the Serra da Estrela, is famous for its breathtaking waterfalls, turquoise lakes, terraced hillsides and challenging bike paths amid vast woods.
In winter especially, tourists from all over northern Europe flock to the sunny Serra, a thinly populated plateau the size of Rhode Island, for its exquisite wines, world-renowned sheep cheeses and exotic regional dishes (think breaded sweet sardines and Juniper beef stew).
In addition to these delicacies, Serra da Estrela in recent years has also emerged as Portugal’s undisputed powerhouse for kosher food – an unlikely development in a region with about 50 Jews.
After centuries of silence and persecution, it’s almost inevitable that people with Jewish roots should be careful about advertising it” [those roots], he said. “But for people in the food industry, obtaining a kosher certificate is a way of doing so in a tangible way that doesn’t bring up too many personal questions.”
It was picked up and reprinted all over the Internet, including in:
Picture is of the annual Belmonte Kosher food market