ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam.
Halal-Certified Mariposa Dairy And Finica Food Specialties Offer Varieties Of Goat Cheese Throughout The U.S. And Canada
With the increasing popularity of the Mediterranean diet in North America, the demand for goat cheese is on the rise. Muslims are now able to purchase IFANCA halal-certified goat milk cheese products manufactured by Mariposa Dairy, Canada. These include Feta Goat Cheese, Plain Goat Cheese and other varieties and can be purchased at www.igourmet.com, Costco, and other grocery stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Finica Food Specialties, another IFANCA halal-certified brand, also sells goat cheese products. The flavors that are halal-certified include Plain, Honey, Cranberry and Cinnamon, Garlic and Fine Herbs, Dill and Fig goat cheese. For a complete list of both companies' halal-certified goat cheese products, visit www.ifanca.org.
Fruity Goat Cheese Pizza
1 cup green or red seedless grapes, halved
½ tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 – 8 oz fresh pizza dough
4 ounces soft goat cheese
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss grapes, goat cheese and rosemary in olive oil; set aside.
Roll the dough into a 10 - 12 inch round.
Place the dough round, in the oven until cooked through; it takes about 6 minutes.
Spread the grapes, goat cheese and olive oil mix on the dough round.
Heat until the cheese begins to melt; about 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let it cool a bit and serve.
Pfizer Serving Halal Consumers' Needs
Many Muslims prefer tablets to capsules for nutritional supplements because capsules are usually made from gelatin. (However, many may be unaware that tablets too contain gelatin.) This aversion to gelatin comes from the fact that gelatin is derived from animal hides and bones, and generally comes from pigs or cattle. However, Capsugel, a division of Pfizer, produces two-piece empty capsules that are halal-certified by IFANCA. Pfizer produces two types of capsules; one from halal-certified gelatin and the other from vegetable ingredients. These capsules are purchased by companies that make nutritional supplements and vitamins. The IFANCA Crescent M logo on these products is an indication that all the ingredients used are halal, healthy and wholesome. Look for nutritional supplements and vitamins that carry the halal logo.
Halal-Certified Ocean Spray® Cranberries Are Wholesome And Healthy Products
Ocean Spray, North America's leading producer of cranberries, juices and juice drinks is an IFANCA halal-certified company. Ocean Spray has been the best-selling brand name in the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. An agricultural cooperative, it is owned by more than 650 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as about 50 Florida grapefruit growers. It was formed 75 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976.
Recently, Ocean Spray teamed up with the National Kidney Foundation in their shared goal of spreading awareness to the public about urinary tract infections and how to prevent them. The company also supported the Go Red for Women® movement with the American Heart Association to raise awareness about heart disease, the number one killer of women in the U.S.
IFANCA halal-certified products include Craisins® Brand, Original Sweetened Dried Cranberries, Cherry Flavor Sweetened Dried Cranberries and Orange Flavor Sweetened Dried Cranberries. For a full listing, visit www.ifanca.org. When choosing IFANCA halal-certified products, Muslims can rest-assured that they are consuming a product that is halal, wholesome and healthy.
Chocolate/Nuts Dipped Cranberry Cookies
1 cup canola or sunflower oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla
1 large egg
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups halal Ocean Spray® dried cranberries
1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease cookie sheets.
Whip oil and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Add alcohol-free vanilla and egg; mix well.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate mixing bowl and add to the oil/sugar mixture, beat until soft dough is formed. Stir cranberries into the dough.
Place rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate and then in nuts.
Allow chocolate to dry completely, before serving.
This recipe makes about 40 chocolate-dipped nutty, cranberry cookies.
American farmers all across the country are learning that raising certain animals, and slaughtering them the halal way, can boost profits. It explains the increase in lambs and goats on American farms, that are intended to meet the ever increasing demand for mutton and lamb chops. In the U.S. mutton, lamb and goat meat have been in short supply, and countries like Australia and New Zealand have stepped in to meet the demand for halal meat. With increased awareness of halal being wholesome and healthy, more and more farmers are joining the movement to raise sheep and goats and get connected with slaughterhouses that process the animal in a dhabiha halal manner. Dhabiha is an Arabic term which is perceived to mean the halal animal was slaughtered by a Muslim with a hand held sharp knife, usually without stunning the animal. It is anticipated that North America will be self sufficient in small cattle farming by 2015. For information about how to raise sheep and goats, contact your State Department of Agriculture.
As reported in the Associated Press: "After 30 years raising lambs, the Waverly farmer is learning something new about the business. There's a growing demand for sheep and goats from Muslim residents in West Virginia tired of traveling hundreds of miles for meats prepared in accordance with their faith's dietary requirements. At the same time, West Virginia's farmers are eager for new customers…. It's one of the least diverse states in the country, but there are pockets of the state -- Charleston, the university towns of Morgantown and Huntington -- where the Muslim population is growing. On average, American Muslims are young, educated and affluent, which is music to a marketer's ears. "There's more demand than supply here right now," said Rich Durham, who once raised goats and sheep in Pinch and is getting back into it."
An Excerpt from W.Va. Farmers Aim At Growing Muslim Market, Business Week/Associated Press, Jan. 2009.
The 11th International Halal Food Conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois, USA at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on April 19-20, 2009. This year's conference is organized under the theme: Using Halal Certification To Your Marketing Advantage.
The two day conference will bring speakers from the USA, Malaysia, Indonesia, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Denmark and Trinidad together to discuss a number of topics pertaining to halal and halal implementation.
Industry speakers will relate their experiences in implementing halal and the benefits they derived from it. Government and regulatory agencies will discuss halal implementation and compliance with their country's halal requirements. IFANCA speakers will share their experience guiding companies to produce halal-certified products.
Topics will include discussions of halal in food ingredients, vaccines, retail products and food service; consumer perception of halal; halal labeling; halal marketing and the benefits of halal certification. Ample time has been set aside for questions and answers.