Appaholic: Top 5 kosher eating apps

The small world of Kosher eating is expanding in both range and palate, one application at a time.

iphones R 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
iphones R 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
At least insofar as your stomach is concerned, living a “full” life while keeping kosher by the book is sometimes a bit of a challenge. It’s particularly daunting to those who are either living without Mom, or recently began a more observant lifestyle; or both.
The challenge is multifaceted and a number of important questions spring to mind: What is a geschniztle fish? Where do I eat pizza and when, and does it matter how often? Do I also need separate sets of paper plates? Should I just only eat with paper plates from now on? And who suffers while you spend your nights pondering some of these important questions? Your stomach. So give your belly a break and peruse this week’s “Top 5 kosher eating apps,” here to teach you how to cook, clarify kashrut, help you eat out and stimulate your appetite. 
The road most traveled
At some point, we all have to throw in the towel and learn to cook. Canned food and frozen pizza just don’t cut it, and who can afford to eat out all the time? A kosher lifestyle may exaggerate the challenge of any cooking project, but as a long history of Jewish mothers suggest, it’s not impossible and it’s well worth the challenge.
Our favorite Jewish Cooking app is Kosher Cookbook, which includes Jewish classics, creative spins on Jewish classics and a host of recipes that appeal to any modern pallet. This app is especially great for planning multi-course meals, with the lovely “add to shopping list” function, where true to its word the app compiles shopping lists of all your recipes to cut down a few planning steps.
Cost: $1.99
Supported formats: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Kosher vacations
Israel is the land of milk, honey and kosher eating. Better than that, Israel is the mecca of kosher vacations. And while your kosher vacation must of course include the classics like a trip to the Kotel, scenic hikes and endless walking tours, make sure to step off of the straight and narrow and plan your ultimate kosher wine-tour.
The Kosher Wine Society app will help any wine enthusiast with their ultimate vacation. The application includes both an explanation on what it means for a wine to be kosher, a kosher wine quiz, as well as a directory of vineyards in California and Israel. Road tripping with your iPhone? The application connects you right to your iPhone maps function for GPS directions.
Cost: Free
Supported formats: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Hit the streets
There are those occasions where you just can’t be bothered, or you’re on the road, and since we’ve made this all about your appetite we may as well address the proverbial driver of your whims; your stomach.  You guessed it, there’s an app for that.
Let your iPhone and your stomach form a harmonious union and check out Rusty Brick’s Kosher, a handy app that uses your GPS location to find all of the kosher restaurants around you. Sorted by meat and dairy, each restaurant profile comes replete with reviews, a cuisine and price profile, and more.
While this application is still in its infancy, we predict it’ll do nothing but improve, as the only thing lacking are more users to leave reviews and enrich the profiles—which are contributed to by users.
Cost: $4.99
Supported formats: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Look it up
Did you know that according to kashrut laws, green asparagus requires a thorough check for insects prior to eating while white asparagus may be eaten without any “further checking?”
Perhaps this is the kind of information you’ve been looking for, perhaps you consider this too much information—regardless, for the cost (free), we feel confident that cRc Kosher will be of some use.
The application includes a thorough and well-organized database of both non-processed foods and brand-name drinks. Traveling around the world? Don’t leave cRc Kosher at home: They’ve even included a searchable, global list of approved kosher-certification agencies around the world.
  Cost: Free
Supported formats: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Neither hunger nor food comas preclude prayer
Imagine these two scenarios: In the first, you are starving; in the second, you’ve eaten, your pants are bursting, and a gigantic mess is waiting for you in the kitchen. Regardless, in either situation, there are blessings that need to be said, and pronto.
The app iBless Food will do exactly that. Replete with a searchable food-database, you can look up the food you ate or are intending to eat, and find the blessing. For those who are less well versed with the blessings, you can both hear the blessings and read them in either the original Hebrew or the transliteration. 
   Cost: $4.99
Supported formats: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Appaholic is a bi-weekly column which thematically reviews mobile apps with a Jewish or Israeli twist. If you have an app to suggest, send details to [email protected]