Halal ham? (updated)
Update: Muslims in Muslim countries don’t seem to have a problem selling pork to non-Muslims.
Ham comes from a pig. Any meat that purports to be ham but which contains any meat other than pork is not ham. It might taste like ham and it might look like ham but it is not ham. Restaurants should not call any such product “ham” without using the quotations and clarifying what the mystery meat actually contains. The same is true of bacon. Have you had turkey “bacon”? Yech. If I ordered bacon and was given turkey “bacon” instead, I would be furious.
I would also include sausage and pepperoni in the “must be from pork” category. Although I realize that beef, lamb, and poultry sausages do exist, they are always labelled as such. No meat specified means that the sausage contains pork.
Does this even need to be explained? Yes it does.
H67 Donair is a restaurant in Saskatoon which serves sandwiches and pizza. Although their website doesn’t mention it, they are a halal restaurant. They are listed on the Saskatoon Muslim Foundation website as well as a halal site. Saskatoon has a growing Muslim population and I’m sure that there is growing demand for halal restaurants and groceries.
Whether a restaurant is halal or not most likely doesn’t matter to non-Muslims. I don’t care if the beef or chicken is halal or not although I’d rather not pay extra for halal if I have a choice.
In this situation, the halal designation does matter.
H67 sells pizza and their topics include ham, sausage, pepperoni, and bacon. Or should I say “ham”, “sausage”, “pepperoni”, and “bacon”? It’s all fake.
Here’s the explanation straight from the owner via an e-mail forwarded to me:
I think some misunderstanding about my business may have arisen because I have advertised “ham” toppings on certain pizzas. I want to assure you that this “ham” topping is actually composed of beef and chicken. This “ham” topping is a common name given to synthetic ham. This topping is mostly advertised towards the non-Muslims who frequent my business because most non-Muslims are expecting some sort of ham toppings on their pizza. However, I would like to fully assure the Muslim community of Saskatoon, that the “ham” and “pepperoni” that I sell are synthetic and are actually made of halal beef and halal chicken. This practise of selling halal pepperoni and halal ham are common practise in cities with larger Muslim communities. This is done so that a halal business can remain competitve with non-Muslim businesses. I regret not clearing this topic earlier, but I had assumed that the Muslims in Saskatoon would already be familiar with this concept.
Did you understand that? The halal restaurant calls the meat products ham and bacon and pepperoni so that non-Muslims will think that they are getting the real thing. Muslims will know the truth *wink, wink*.
The owners of H67 should clearly state on their menus that all products are made of beef and chicken. They should let their customers know that the ham and bacon are not real. Anything less than full disclosure is lying to their customers.