The dark side of funghi

By Ruth Joseph, November 3, 2011

Jews and mushrooms have not always had a happy association. During medieval times mushrooms had extremely unpleasant connotations. Antisemitism was rife, so when a fungus that looked like a thick rubbery fleshy ear was discovered, it was immediately labelled as a Jew's Ear or Judas's Ear fungus. Its official Latin name was auricularia auricular Judea.


Israel: a holy land for beer-drinkers. Yes, really

October 31, 2011

'Beer in Israel, really?" I think the organisers forgave my stunned response when they rang to ask if I would like to be a judge at Tel Aviv's first Beer International Recognition Awards.


Recipe: Simchat Torah treats

By Fabienne Viner-Luzzato, October 24, 2011

Pop cakes are the latest baking craze to come from the United States. A cross between a cake and a lollipop, they appeal to children and adults alike. They are easy to make with the right ingredients and this step-by-step guide.


● A sponge cake: home-made preferably (see cake recipe on this page) but shop-bought works


Reversing autumn

By Anthea Gerrie, October 17, 2011

There is nothing that shouts spring like the first British asparagus. We leap on it in April, steaming, simmering or slathering it with vinaigrette and hollandaise, and mourning the fact it will all be over by June.

But now M&S have found a way to create a second British crop to make fresh asparagus an autumn treat as well.


Ways to enjoy a welcome break

By Denise Phillips, October 10, 2011

Fasting is straightforward and we all do it pretty much the same. The Torah is quite clear. Put your human cravings to one side and focus on trying to obtain the highest level of spirituality through prayer and forgiveness. Nil by mouth. No food and no water from dusk to the following dusk. Simple. Not a lot of room for variation.

How we end the fast varies enormously.


Are bees in for a sticky end?

By Ruth Joseph, September 27, 2011

There is no food more intrinsically connected with Rosh Hashanah than honey.

For millennia it has been eaten at the festival to symbolise our hopes for a good, sweet year.


The most Jewish fruit?

By Ruth Joseph, September 9, 2011

The arrival of plump purple figs is the silver lining to the end of the summer. The timing of their season means that figs (along with pomegranates) are often eaten as a symbolic new fruit for the New Year.


Aspire to samphire

By Anthea Gerrie, September 2, 2011

Once it was a treat fishmongers threw in free with the Dover sole, before it vanished from the slabs and re-emerged barely a decade ago as a pick-your-own crop for foodies scouring shorelines and riverbanks. Then, professional foragers started feeding it into restaurants and suddenly samphire became a fixture on the trendiest menus.


Big cook, little cook

By Victoria Prever, August 31, 2011

No one is more surprised than Nick Coffer that he is a published cookery writer.


Power to the purple

By Ruth Joseph, August 19, 2011

Plums could really do with a makeover - or at least their image could.