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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.