SHORTCUTS

By Jta, Forward Staff

Published August 26, 2005, issue of August 26, 2005.

The shabut, a kosher fish that ancient Jewish sages said tastes like pork, has arrived in Israel.

The fish, which is described in the Talmud as having a piglike taste, was shipped from Iran in formaldehyde by Israeli academics recently, with the help of an Iranian liaison, The Jerusalem Post reported. Medieval commentator Rashi noted that the shabut’s brain tastes like pig and that the fish could serve as a potential alternative for kosher keepers who want to taste the other white meat. The fish, whose scientific name is Barbus grypus, also inhabits rivers in Iraq and Syria. Some Israeli fish farmers are considering breeding the shabut.

Just one question: How did all those important rabbis know what a pig tasted like?

* * *

In other animal news, Israeli officials said they had recovered one-third of the pets left behind by settlers evacuated from Gaza. The officials said Wednesday that about 100 pets, including an iguana, a donkey, dogs and cats, turtles and various birds, had been located in the ruins of Gaza settlements, while another 200 were believed to be at large. The government had promised to locate all the hapless creatures and reunite them with their owners.

Pets that go unclaimed will be put up for adoption.



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