Breaking Kosher: Is Los Pollos Hermanos certified?

Jewish fans of “Breaking Bad,” fear not: There’s finally a Jewish angle to the show.

The fry batter used at the fictional fried-chicken chain Los Pollos Hermanos — run by drug kingpin Gustavo Fring — apparently is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union.

Except, as Tablet’s Michael Orbach explains in his investigation of the matter, the OU certification that appears on the batter is itself fictional.

AMC… wasn’t able to tell me how the OU symbol ended up on the show. (The batter is apparently pareve, containing neither meat or diary.) Scenes of the restaurant are shot in the non-kosher New Mexico fast food chain Twisters, which offers a meal of sausage, bacon, and cheese, a trifecta of trayf. And while we don’t know the reason for the symbol, most likely someone in the props department copied the label on a similar product.

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The ingredient list for Los Pollos Hermanos batter doesn’t include shellfish or pork products that, needless to say, wouldn’t be certified as kosher. However, despite certification on some of its ingredients, the fictional restaurant chain would still not be considered kosher, according to Rabbi Menachem Genack, the CEO of the Orthodox Union’s Kosher division, who also admitted to not having seen or heard about the show.

Has Genack been living under a rock?

Uriel Heilman is JTA’s managing editor, responsible for coordinating JTA’s editorial team. He re-joined JTA in 2007 after a stint doing independent reporting in Israel and the Arab world. Before that, he served as New York bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post. An award-winning journalist, he has served as JTA’s news editor and worked as a reporter for a variety of publications in the United States and in Israel.

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