I noticed a sign on the door of Chickpea on 23rd and Lexington and couldn’t help but wonder why it was that important to display a “non kosher” status. I’m a pisher when it comes to kosher diets, but it seems that unless you say you are kosher certified, most would assume that you are not. Intrigued, I decided to research the Chickpea chain and their history with kosher oversight. The result is a saga so long and winding it needed three whole paragraphs to detail.
In January, 2009, the kosher food blog and online community thanksaglatt.com cheered Chickpea for becoming kosher again. Again? Even though the blog showed excitement for the new status (there was an exclamation point in the article title) the last sentence gives Chickpea two weeks until they convert back to just another gentile joint. It was clear — the kosher chaos had been blessed long before.
The discussion board of Chowhound.com is riddled with Chickpea posts dating back to 2007. One visitor writes:
“Was Chickpea (the one at Astor Place) ever kosher? I thought it used to be, but when I went by there the other day there was no hashgacha…”
The real kicker comes from the home page of Koshertopia, announcing Chickpea’s new kosher certification. The problem? There’s no article date! It’s on the home page so one would assume it’s new. The title even says “NEW”. Unfortunately, without knowing for certain the last time Koshertopia was updated I’m afraid I’m left wondering. Was there some sort of shemozzle? No matter, it doesn’t feel right. The next time I’m out for something to nosh on, kosher or otherwise, I think I’ll choose a place more consistently focused on the needs of its customers and quality of the food.