Salmon Special: Slice of life learned from master carver

By Alex Kasriel, June 18, 2009

Ever wondered why Jewish-style lox tastes better than Scottish smoked salmon? Len Lawson has the answer — and the 87-year-old should know, as he has been cutting salmon for almost 30 years.

Mr Lawson attributes the delicate flavour of heimishe lox to its wafer-thin slicing. Because of this, the fat rapidly melts in the mouth and the flavour is let loose before chewing.


Gone fishing… for a salmon substitute

By Simon Round, June 17, 2009

A slump in salmon production and a surge in demand from around the world is threatening to take British Jewry’s most ubiquitous fish off our menus — or at least to make it a more expensive treat.

So what are the alternatives? The truth is that there is no other single fish with the versatility of the salmon — there are few other fish which can be smoked cold or hot, served raw, cured, poached or pan fried and which have the health benefits of omega 3.


Wine: Dalton winery

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2009

On the day before Shavuot, I visited Dalton winery in the Upper Galilee. The main reason for my visit was to taste the new white wines just out to accompany the festival of cheese.

They were fantastic, but then the winery’s manager, Moshe Haviv, pointed out that they were all of the 2008 vintage, the Shmita year, and therefore would not be exported for sale outside Israel. So I won’t tantalise you with my favourable impressions, seeing as those of you not planning to visit Israel will not get to taste them.


The red devils that keep you in the pink

By Ruth Joseph, June 10, 2009

Sinking your teeth into the summer-sweet flesh of a British tomato, it’s hard to believe that the fruit was once the subject of hatred and contempt. Eastern European religious Jews believed that the red juices running out of the fruit were a form of bad blood and therefore treif.


Some like it cold

By Simon Round, June 4, 2009

As you probably know, there are two types of fried fish in this country. There is the fried fish you buy from the chippy, coated in batter, deep fried and served with chips, a sprinkling of salt and soused with malt vinegar. Then there is our fried fish, coated in egg and matzah meal, pan fried and served cold with a nice bit of chreyn.


Shavuot, the perfect time to revisit barley

By Ruth Joseph, May 28, 2009

As a reader I’ve always been captivated by good narrative, and surely one of the most beautiful romances occurs in the Bible between Ruth the convert and Boaz. She is always pictured gleaning the barley harvest — Boaz tells his young men to leave her some full sheaves and at the end of the day she has all the barley she needs. And the story of Shavuot continues.


Shavuot - the cream of all the festivals

By Denise Phillips, May 21, 2009

Shavuot is a festival with several names — Festival of Weeks, Festival of The Giving of the Torah, and for some, the Cheesecake Festival!

All Jewish festivals have symbolic foods and Shavuot is no exception. But why have dairy foods become synonymous with Shavuot?


Divine flavouring? Well, God used it

By Ruth Joseph, May 14, 2009

These days we enjoy coriander as an ingredient or garnish in curries and Middle Eastern foods. The Sephardim have always been aware of coriander’s special qualities but it has taken Askenazi cooks a while longer — encouraged by foreign travel and the herb’s availability — to understand its magic.


Cinnamon: the bark of the covenant

By Ruth Joseph, May 7, 2009

As you taste a slice of warm apple strudel laden with lemony, cinnamon juices, sink your teeth into a cinnamon bagel, or dip your fork into a fragrant curry with pieces of cinnamon bark simmered in the spicy sauce, you are transported to a world of spice. Yet cinnamon is now considered not only a wonderful cooking ingredient but a new and intriguing healer with an ability to combat viruses while immunising against various infections.


Tips for your love life

By Bernard Josephs, April 29, 2009

Asparagus, often referred to by epicureans as “grass”, is the perfect food. It has few calories, sublime flavour, proven health benefits (including anti-cancer properties) and, according to some enthusiasts, it can even perk up your love life.

Eating it is supposed to have the most startling effect. The 17th century herbalist Nicolas Culpepper said that this innocent vegetable “stirred up lust in men and women”.