How to play the carp

By Denise Phillips, November 16, 2010

For many people, carp suffers from the Marmite effect - you either love it or hate it. I have recently attended a carp gourmet evening organised by the Guild of Food Writers and I have been converted into a big fan.


Why Jewish culture is mushrooming

By Josephine Bacon, November 8, 2010

Autumn does not only mean golden leaves and ripe fruit - it is mushroom time. Combining my twin passions of mycology (the study of fungi) and Jewish history - in the tradition of the elephant and the Jewish question - I want to explain the link between mushrooms and Jews.


The cream of cheeses

By Nathan Jeffay, October 28, 2010

The Israeli hotel breakfast is a true delight. But more often than not, tourists from overseas do not get the full experience.

As well as all the other delicacies there is generally a large range of cheeses. Many of them are unfamiliar to non-Israelis, meaning that they play it safe or skip the section altogether. Some complain that if they taste a cheese they enjoy, they have no idea what it is called so are unable to request it elsewhere.


Chocolate's dark secret is revealed

By Anthea Gerrie, October 14, 2010

This is Chocolate Week - and possibly the most delicious aspect of it is that we no longer need to regard a bar of the dark stuff as a guilty pleasure.

For as the Mayans who discovered the fruits of the cocoa plant discovered, it is, when properly made, choc-full of healthful ingredients. Recent scientific studies have shown dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, improve brain function and contribute to heart health.


Take the heat out of fitting your kitchen

By Denise Phillips, October 7, 2010

The kitchen is said to be the heart of the Jewish home, but there comes a time when even old favourites have to be updated or renovated. This was certainly the case with my kitchen that had served me well for almost 15 years but that was showing definite signs of ageing and over-use. However, changing kitchens is an enormous project and can take a considerable time to plan and to implement.


Things we really dig

By Ruth Joseph, September 28, 2010

It is that special time of the year in the Joseph household when my husband Mervyn harvests his garden produce. Carrying my largest mixing bowl, he will return with vast piles of crisp, green runner beans, golden and green striped courgettes, marrows and an assortment of tomatoes. There will also be chillies and, this year, tiny aubergines, plus sacks of muddy potatoes.

On another journey with our granddaughters, the sweetest blackberries were picked with crisp Concord pears and a handful of Bramley apples.


A question of taste for an Israeli winery

September 21, 2010

Imagine this for a day trip. Israelis, stereotypically unable even to stand in a queue, will call up months in advance to book. Then, one by one as their turn arrives, they will head for the Carmel Mountains and transform themselves into wine connoisseurs.

Sketching out his plan, Adam Montefiore, development director of the Carmel Winery, admits that it does not sound likely. But he points out that two decades ago it seemed equally inconceivable that Carmel, then synonymous with super-sweet wines, would soon win accolades from wine critics.


Why Jews love their seedy pleasures

September 16, 2010

'Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks." Song of Solomon 4:3.

As we enter a new year, many of us will buy a pomegranate as part of our Yomtov purchases.

And certainly the pomegranate, with its polished red exterior and delicious, rich red and pink jewel-like seeds or arils looks attractive on the table. But it is fascinating to discover the Jewish symbolism lying within its ruby casing.


A sugar-free new year

By Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn, September 7, 2010

Tradition dictates, when celebrating the New Year, that one should indulge in sweet foods - and many of the dishes we love to eat during Rosh Hashanah rely on that staple ingredient, sugar. However, as we become more aware of the negative health effects that sugar can have on our bodies, supermarkets and health food stores are finding exciting alternatives.

Honey is nature's perfect alternative to sugar. Dipping apple into honey at Rosh Hashanah is one of those marvellous foodie traditions that gets everyone involved and in the mood.


As Israeli as apple pie

By Bernard Josephs, September 2, 2010

Three decades ago I was among a group of kibbutz members hosting a delegation of British fruiterers to Israel and proudly showed off a leafy apple orchard ona mountain top
overlooking Jerusalem.

I had spent four years with the chaverim pruning branches, grafting new species and picking the fruit - and the yield was spectacular.

That apple trees flourished on rocky soil in the searing heat of Israel's late summer was a matter of wonder to the visitors, who were used to a crop that ripens in a cool British autumn.