Putting our own twist on the pretzel

By Ruth Joseph, December 29, 2010

When I was a child, my father's mother - a Holocaust survivor - used to tell me stories about the delicious pretzels she ate when she was a child growing up in a small village on Germany's eastern border. She used to watch the local baker prepare the tender, chewy bites and would describe how he gently dipped the dough in a bath of lye - a form of caustic soda - and afterwards baked it with a sprinkling of crushed rock salt and sesame seeds.


They're cran-tastic

By Denise Philips, December 24, 2010

Now is the season for fresh cranberries - the bright red berries with a unique tart flavour. Although they grow wild as a shrub, they are grown commercially on low trailing vines in many parts of the world, although not in the UK.

Their medicinal use was first recognised by the Pilgrim Fathers, who shortly after their arrival in America, started to mix berries into a dried meat mixture in order to extend its life.


A feast from the yeast

By Bernard Josephs, December 20, 2010

Don't turn up your nose at that ultimate comfort food, the humble bread pudding. Invented when bread was expensive and few could afford to waste a crumb, it remains as popular as ever. Described as the poor man's pudding, it has come a long way since the recipe called just for stale bread baked with whatever butter, fruit and spices were available.


Challah put to the test

By Tracey Fine and Geordie Tarn, December 10, 2010

The special Friday feeling when preparing for Shabbat would not be the same without a visit to your favourite bakery - standing in line, sharing conversation with fellow shoppers and sniffing the amazing, intoxicating aroma of freshly baked challah.

The ritual of challah not only consists of choosing from large, medium or small, with poppy seeds or sesame seeds. There is huge history and meaning behind this iconic bread.


Grate expectations for Chanucah dinner

By Ruth Joseph, December 5, 2010

Once again we celebrate Chanucah and the miracle of the oil which lasted for eight days after the recapture of the Second Temple. This is the reason that oil has evolved as Chanucah's symbolic ingredient.


Her recipe for success slayed the dragons

By Simon Round, November 29, 2010

Two scraps of paper were all it took to change Carol Savage's life. On them were scrawled recipes that her husband had brought back from a visit to his mother in South Africa. The recipes gave Savage the germ of an idea for a recipe exchange website, which she turned into a thriving business, culminating in a successful appearance on the BBC programme Dragon's Den.


Why a good curry can be a life saver

By Ruth Joseph, November 23, 2010

In Britain, curries have traditionally been considered indigestible junk food, to be eaten late at night after a number of lagers. However, aficionados and those who follow traditional Indian ayurvedic medicine have long believed that a good curry can not only maintain good health but even improve it.

A basic curry will contain a myriad of fragrant spices. It will almost certainly contain turmeric - part of the ginger family - which gives the curry its glorious golden colour.


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.