Used to describe food that is neutral under the laws of kashrut. Parve foods can be eaten with either fleshik (meat) or milchik (milk) provided they haven't been contaminated by the other. Once parve food is mixed with fleshik or milchik foods or cooking utensils, it then falls under that category. Parve usually refers to fruits, vegetables, grains, and other non-animal based foods, but oddities like fish, eggs, and grasshoppers are considered parve as well. Screwy, ain't it?

A Yiddish term, meaning "neither meat nor dairy." In Jewish dietary law (Kashrut), meat and dairy may not be eaten together, so it's important to know what's what. Some things, of course, like fruit and vegetables and water and bread (so long as it isn't made with milk) and such, are neither one, and can be eaten with anything.

Occasionally used metaphorically, with an extended meaning, as in "on that stretch of road, there's one lane going one direction, one lane for the other direction, and a lane in the middle that's sort of pareve" (presumably the left-turn lane). Compare the English "neither fish nor fowl."

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