Thursday, April 4, 2013

When Is Flour Yoshon?



When Is Flour Yoshon?

Yoshon Literally mean old.   This is not to imply that that products that are labeled Yoshon are old in the negative sense.  Old used in the context of Yoshon refers to whether or not flour, specifically from Wheat, Oats, Spelt, Rye, and Barley, was planted prior to, or after the "16th of Nissan", which translates to the second day of Passover.   Flour from these grains, planted prior to Passover is consider Yoshon, or old,  under Jewish Dietary Laws.   This flour is acceptable to use after harvest and milling.  Flour from grains planted after Passover, or new,  should not be used until after the following Passover in order to comply.

While the timing may seem arbitrary at first reaction, the laws actually are quite sensible.  The notion, in a secular context, holds true as aging is an important part of healthful and nutritious grain production and harvesting.  Today many companies circumvent the natural aging of grains in flour production through the use of chemicals and artificial conditioners, while companies like Davidovich Bakery use all natural, aged, high gluten flour in the production of their Davidovich Bagels.   An additional benefit of the Yoshon timing rules is that it, by implication, insures that flour from cycle to cycle is segregated and, therefore, limits waste and insures the flour your are getting is not stale. Whether consumers are religious or not, they should seek products for optimum health that follow these types of natural guidelines.  For many, the concept of Yoshon helps to guide that decision.