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Halal food is more than just an article of faith,
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Directory of online ethnic food products, spices, restaurants & cooking schools

You can order almost any type of ethnic grocery or food product online from spices to frozen beef, regardless of what city you're in at the time. Ethnic food markets make various types of food and grocery products available to you online.

Or if you're looking for a particular ethnic restaurant, see the various restaurants directories online that list restaurants and food stores in almost any city or country of the globe, including food shops and eateries catering to a variety of ethnic tastes be it Hindu vegetarian, Buddhist, Kosher, Halal, or specific ethnic foods of most any geographic area you choose, except maybe Antarctica.

If individual stores aren't listed online, they may be listed within a database listing particular stores or restaurants in a city online directory of restaurants or ethnic restaurants. Below is a directory of ethnic food businesses in Sacramento and in other cities as well as worldwide that will ship the food directly to you if you order online.

There's also a directory of restaurants, for example, Indian restaurants in Sacramento. If you live outside of California, you can still order foods online to be mailed to you, for example, fresh spices.

Kosher and Halal Foods Online

On researching the Halal markets, see Tom's of Maine that offers, with product certification, both Halal and Kosher foods. Halal is an Arabic word meaning "lawful or permitted." Since 2006, all Tom's of Maine products have carried the Halal endorsement, which certifies that they are made in accordance with Islamic guidelines under the supervision of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA).

Also, Tom's of Maine products have carried the kosher certification since 1990. Kosher is a Hebrew word meaning "sanctioned by Jewish law and ritually fit for use." Most of their products are manufactured under the supervision of the Kashruth Division of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations and are certified as kosher and pareve. Their site notes,"that only our deodorants are kosher for Passover, and that some new products may not yet bear the OU Kosher symbol."

If you're looking for an ethnic guide to the USA Muslim food market, check out Zabihah.com. The site reports that it's the world's largest guide to Halal restaurants and products where the viewer can find nearby Halal food. Globally, more Halal groceries, food distributors, and restaurants are opening, especially in the UK. For example, Subway sandwich franchise has successfully operated halal-only versions of its stores in the UK. Zabihah.com has grown worldwide from its North American start.

Kosher Dog and Cat Foods (not necessarily vegetarian)

According to the Free Patents Online site, The composition of kosher pet food further includes a source of carbohydrates, a source of fiber, and a source of fat. The pet food composition is fed to domesticated cats and dogs for which a kosher diet is recommended for health and/or spiritual reasons.

Kosher Pets is the only patented dog food endorsed for use in a kosher home. Foods are made with human-grade ingredients such as liver, vegetables, chicken, and olive oil. KosherPets' foods and treats for dogs are rich in essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and probiotics; while being free of added hormones, antibiotics, or artificial preservatives. Kosher Pets also offers a special "Kosher for Passover" line of pet food.

There's a reason why these specialized dog and cat foods are made for special holidays. According to the site, "Probably the most significant observance related to Passover involves the removal of chametz. Chametz includes anything made from wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt. Not only is it forbidden to eat chametz during Pesach; but it is also forbidden to derive benefit from it by feeding it to pets! KosherPets' KfP products will keep you in the clear."

The Kosher dog food market has thrived for more than 30 years. For example, you can research an article on kosher-style dog food manufacturing, "Renicom's Mother Klein's Kosher Style dog food", Advertising Age, p. 24, Feb. 26, 1979. There are several dog and cat food manufacturers that produce kosher food for pets (dogs and cats), for example Wheeling, Illinois-based Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Company that produces a line of wet kosher pet food. Evanger's doesn't use any grains as fillers.

According to an April 13, 2003 article, "Observe: Kosher Food for Your Pet," published in the Chicago Tribune (online edition) by William Hageman, Evanger's received "the endorsement of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and began selling the food in December" of that year. "The biggest seller has been the chicken flavor (ingredients: whole dressed chicken, water for processing)."

Other kosher dog foods include chicken rice dinner; beef; beef, chicken and liver; lamb and rice dinner; and chopped turkey. There's also a kosher seafood dinner for cats. Ethnic food markets go back in time and are thriving today. Also see the article, "The challenge of keeping kosher," Stephen Bennet, Progressive Grocer, vol. 69(8), p.149(3), Jul. 1999. You might open a report-generating business specializing only in specialty foods.

Specialty Foods

Check out the Specialty Food Magazine site. There is a wide variety of cultures, each with a specialty ethnic food. Then there's the holistic food markets, the vegan and vegetarian, the organic, special diets markets, cheeses, wines, beers, and the multi-ethnic spices and herbs markets.

It's difficult to run out of constantly current material on human or pet food markets. With increasing Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim communities and ethnic specialties in food, there are the Halal food markets as well to research and also Indian, Thai, Carribbean, Cajun, and Latin American spices, herbs, and foods.

(Anne Hart, Sacramento Nutrition Examiner, July 12, 2009)

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