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.


Why a crust is a must

April 22, 2010

Pastry - the stuff of dreams. That melt-in-the-mouth, crumbly, moist texture makes pastry irresistible. And it comes in so many different forms. It could be a crisp-crusted flaky layer over summer berries. Or a slice of warm apple pie topped with a blanket of golden, sugar-dusted short-crust, laced with hot custard. Maybe light puffs of choux pastry filled with cream and drizzles of dark chocolate sauce.


The rise and rise of the Jewish loaf

By Bernard Josephs, April 15, 2010

It takes the end of Pesach to remind us just how important bread is in the Jewish diet.

With the last box of matzah resigned to tooth grinding memory, normality is at last returned to our digestive tracts. Let's face it, although matzah has its charms there is nothing like bread to bring on that feeling of nourishment and wellbeing.

Artisan bakers have always played an indispensable role in Jewish life. Take a look at any Jewish area in London. You will find a cornucopia of bakeries where the dough is kneaded day and night.


Historic date we should never forget

April 8, 2010

The Date palm has been revered within Jewish mythology as a symbol of beauty. Its name in Hebrew is tamar and we know that Solomon's half- sister, known for her beauty, was also called Tamar. But the date palm is not just a wonderful tree with delicious fruit, it also has an amazing story stretching back 2,000 years.


Seder, without going nuts

By Denise Phillips, April 1, 2010

It is an unfortunate fact that allergies to nuts are on the increase, particularly among children. Research by the British Nutrition Foundation reported that one in 70 children are allergic to nuts compared to one in a 100 a decade ago.

Having to live without nuts is undoubtedly a challenge and even more so over Pesach when most recipes, particularly of the sweet variety, include some form of nuts.