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.


My spicy souvenirs

By Denise Phillips, August 26, 2010

Many of us will have just returned from summer holidays having enjoyed sampling new foods (and, of course, not having to make them oneself).

For me, holidays are one big adventure - tasting new dishes, visiting the food markets and buying unfamiliar ingredients, so that when I return home, I can create my own versions of food I have enjoying while abroad. It is amazing how memories of those special meals are instantly recalled when these new recipes are recreated back in the UK.


In peach condition

By Ruth Joseph, August 19, 2010

What could be more glorious than sinking your teeth into a sun-ripened peach? As you relish the glorious juice, you can admire its beautiful pink- and gold-streaked skin and revel in its glorious scent.

What is more amazing is that this wonderful fruit also carries with it new hope for cancer sufferers. Medical News Today reports that scientists have discovered that cancer cells died after treatment with peach and plum extracts in laboratory tests at the Texas Agri-life Research Institute.


Israel is also tapping into the blackberry

By Bernard Josephs, August 12, 2010

Having just returned from one of the country's biggest pick your own (PYO) farms, my back was killing me as I struggled to lift boxes overflowing with blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and cherries from the boot of my car, which became suffused with the heady aroma of semi-stewed fruit.

Farmers all over the world are currently opening their gates to pickers who are turning up for a day in the country and a chance to return home with bucket loads of fresh produce.


Student gourmet takes on the couch potatoes

By Alex Kasriel, August 4, 2010

Our nation boasts the whole gamut of celebrity chef personalities: the cockney one, the angry one, the luscious lady one, the mumsy one and the experimental one, to name a few.

Enter the laid-back, studenty one. Sam Stern, 19, is currently studying politics and sociology at Edinburgh University and is also author of five brightly coloured recipe books aimed at first-time cooks, full of cheerful photos of Sam happily cooking in his mum’s kitchen.


Time to fress on cress

By Ruth Joseph, July 28, 2010

For years spinach, for its weight, was believed to be the most nutritious green vegetable. Popeye grew muscles eating cans of the stuff. But our knowledge has increased over time and we now know that although spinach contains numerous vital nutrients, and is particularly helpful with problems involving damaged eyesight, within those wonderful glossy leaves lies a chemical called oxalic acid which blocks iron's natural absorption.


Jews and booze: the truth

By Bernard Josephs, July 15, 2010

An old proverb sums up what many people still believe is the Jewish attitude towards alcohol. An inn keeper, it says, "loves the drunkard, but not as a son in law".

In 19th-century Poland, Jewish- owned inns served vodka to non-Jewish locals, whose idea of a great night out was to down as much as they could until they became violent or unconscious, or both.

On the other hand, Jews, it was believed, did not drink.

History, however, has revealed that this rose-tinted view of the mild-mannered, teetotal Jew does not tally with reality.