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Kosher restaurants rise in Atlanta
by Caroline Young
cyoung@neighbornewspapers.com
July 18, 2012 09:14 AM | 2694 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self <br>
From left, FuegoMundo co-owners Masha Hleap-Hershkovitz and Udi Hershkovitz shows a few menu items from what they say is the only restaurant in the world to serve all kosher Latin-American food.
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STORY UPDATED 7/24 AT 11:50 A.M.: Schakolad Chocolate Factory was re-branded diAmano Chocolate in May.

No meat with dairy, no pork or shellfish and a mother and her baby animal must be killed separately.

Here are just a few rules of keeping a kosher diet, which originated in the Torah’s dietary laws of Judaism.

“When you kill an animal in a kosher way, it’s more humane to the animal. They are killed pain free,” said Masha Hleap-Hershkovitz, co-owner of Sandy Springs’ FuegoMundo, which she said is the only South American and kosher restaurant in the world. “Also, it’s a much healthier animal. It can’t have anything wrong with it, not even a broken leg or a collapsed lung.”

Practicing Jews like Hleap-Hershkovitz and husband and co-owner Udi Hershkovitz, of Sandy Springs, are often known to keep kosher. However, it has and continues to spread across cultures and religions.

Hleap-Hershkovitz, who is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, said she personally keeps kosher for physical, spiritual and overall health benefits.

“The cool thing about it is that I took it on not just because of the religious aspect but I am also very nutritionally conscious,” Hleap-Hershkovitz said. “It ties into my nutritional approach to the restaurant. We’re really a healthy taste of South America.”

Hleap-Hershkovitz said FuegoMundo’s “main gig” is the wood-fire grill and the menu offers foods like grass-fed rib eye kebabs, yucca fries, baked sweet plantains, grilled bok Choy and Latin beef pie or beef Pastellto and a wide selection of beer, wine and sangria.

The couple was inspired on a sabbatical in Panama when they bumped into a “hole-in-the-wall grill,” Hleap-Hershkovitz said. “The foods and flavors were exquisite.”

FuegoMundo opened three years ago and transitioned to all-kosher foods last year, according to Hleap-Hershkovitz, who estimates 60 percent of its customers are kosher.

“Some don’t even know what kosher is. They just like it,” she said.

For chocolate lovers, diAmano Chocolate in Sandy Springs offers a slew of kosher treats.

We are a kosher dairy facility, certified and supervised by the Atlanta Kashruth Commission,” said Chocolatier Andrea Smith.

Like FuegoMundo, Smith said diAmano’s customers are both kosher and non-kosher.

“We have local and long-distance customers of all ages and backgrounds who want to experience our chocolates,” she said.

Another local restaurant with some kosher offerings is Goldberg’s Bagels and Deli, which has seven locations around the city with one each in Sandy Springs and Buckhead.

“There is only certain parts of the animal that someone who keeps kosher can eat,” said Goldberg’s Catering Manager Linda Baron.

They always offer a few kosher selections at the deli, such as corn beefed pastrami and hot dogs, Baron said.

Goldberg’s offers traditional Jewish holiday foods during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, such as Matzo and Round Challah breads.
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