Cream of the crop

By Denise Phillips, July 1, 2010

The Wimbledon finals take place this weekend which means, as always, that strawberries will be on the menu, both at the All England Club (at an extortionate price) and just about everywhere else. English strawberries are as much a part of British summer as the tournament itself - and the rain that normally accompanies it.

However, the passion for eating strawberries is neither new nor particularly British. Strawberries have quite a history attached to them dating back more than 2,000 years.


How to gauge greens

By Denise Phillips, June 24, 2010

We are fast approaching The Three Weeks - the time between Tammuz 17 and Av 9 during which Jews mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

The final nine days of the Three Weeks, starting on the Av 1, are an intensified period of mourning when we refrain from eating meat or drinking wine, although the eating of meat is allowed on Shabbat.


Now feed your brain

By Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn, June 17, 2010

At this time of year, your children are locked away with their books (hopefully not on their Facebook), studiously revising for their exams. The pressure is also on parents to make sure that they are fed and fuelled, eating the right foods to help them produce 'A' star results.


Why eating cold is the cool thing to do

By Bernard Josephs, June 10, 2010

If ice cold beer and Coke had been available during Medieval days there is a strong possibility that Maimonides would have advised his followers to indulge themselves.

Centuries before the appearance of freezers and at a time when ice was available only in the depths of winter, the eminent Torah scholar offered some sage advice about eating healthily and staying cool during the summer.

The Rambam, as he is known, suggested in his writings what appears to be obvious; consumption of plenty of "cold" food without excessive amounts of spices will prevent overheating.


Intoxicating praise for Israeli vintages

By Anthea Gerrie, June 3, 2010

After more than 20 years of striving for a quality reputation, Israeli wines have come of age with a ringing endorsement from one of Britain's best-known experts.

"These are arguably the finest wines in the Eastern Mediterranean," Times columnist and Master of Wine Tim Atkin told restaurateurs, sommeliers and wine writers who had gathered for the most ambitious tasting Israel's winemakers have ever staged in the UK.


Become a stalker

By Ruth Joseph, May 27, 2010

Rhubarb might lack something in glamour but it is a fantastic seasonal food which is produced in two different ways. The stems of the rhubarb in the shops now have been forced in the dark, hence their wonderful vivid pink colour. Its flavour is more delicate than the thicker stems of outdoor-grown rhubarb that arrives later in the year. It is a fascinating plant, technically a vegetable and a closer relative to sorrel than to fruits. It is low in calories so can easily be included as part of a low-fat, healthy diet, but cooking it without too much sugar does present a challenge.


Why everyone should be armed with spears

By Ruth Joseph, May 21, 2010

It is that time of year when the first bunches of tender, green asparagus stems arrive in our shops. How delicious to enjoy them simply steamed, griddled with a sprinkling of salt or with a soft poached egg nestling on top.

We have been relishing asparagus for centuries. In fact the oldest surviving cookery book, Apicius's third century ACE, De re Coquinaria, gives a recipe. The Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans all cultivated this member of the lily family, while the Romans dried them for use in the winter.


A way with curds

By Denise Phillips, May 13, 2010

Like most Jewish holidays, Shavuot is known by a variety of names: the Feast of Weeks, the Festival of Giving of the Torah, and, more recently, the Cheesecake Festival.


Morel guidance

By Nathan Jeffay, May 6, 2010

Over recent weeks, in parts of the British countryside, mushroom hunters have been out in force. For spring is the season of the legendary wild mushroom, the morel.

Such is the cult status of the morel that there are "morel hunting" conventions and championships, and outfitters sell equipment for gathering "expeditions". Those hunters who have been lucky enough to find the mushrooms are now trying to find ways of preserving them, as fresh morels can only be found at this time of year.


How to grow dinner

By Jewish Princess, April 28, 2010

We brits are proud of our gardens. It is part of our national heritage to keep our grass perfectly manicured and our blooms good enough to be shown at the Chelsea Flower Show.

However, now there is a new movement taking root. What we want is to be able to taste the fruit of our own labour (or the gardener's).

Now that spring has sprung, growing your own is on the menu, and what better way to impress your dinner party guests than with a home-grown salad or an apple crumble made with apples that you have picked from your own tree.