Should we swallow probiotic culture?

By Ruth Joseph, March 4, 2010

The subject of probiotics is huge and controversial. You may not even know what constitutes a probiotic but you will have certainly seen the adverts for those little pots of yoghurt drinks extolling the virtues of "friendly bacteria".

So what is a probiotic? According to Biocare - a reputable supplement company - "probiotics are bacteria that are natural residents in the human digestive system and are beneficial to health". For within the human gut resides a complex ecosystem of micro-organisms essential for human functioning.


How to complain

By Jewish Princess, March 4, 2010

How many times have you left a restaurant with a bad taste in your mouth? We love the thought of eating out - great food, no washing up and, hopefully, all at an affordable price.

There are a huge number of restaurants to choose from these days. So you would think that with the ever-growing amount of competition, eating out would usually be a fantastic experience - but the truth of the matter is that restaurants rarely get it right.

Admittedly, catering to a Jewish clientele is not the easiest job in the world. It inspires the old joke: "Was anything all right with your meal?"


Dieting the Israeli way

By Bernard Josephs, February 25, 2010

Returning from Israel I was thrilled to find that despite having eaten well I had actually lost weight.

Two weeks earlier I weighed in at the airport at a hefty 15st. On my return I had rid my bulky frame of five pounds. Quite an achievement you might think when cafes in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem push cappuccino, giant sandwiches, cakes and chips.

Long gone are the days when half starved Israelis begged British relatives to bring them rare items such as chocolate covered digestive biscuits and Cadbury's Fruit and Nut.


Nuts that come with a cracking philosophy

By Ruth Joseph, February 18, 2010

These delicious nuts that are so adaptable, enriching sweet and savoury dishes, hold a story about a fascinating, complicated ideology. You will never look at a walnut in the same way again.

Kabbalists think that there are four worlds or states of God’s creation. They comprise of azilut — emanation; beriah — creation; yetzirah — actual formation; and assiyah — action, our world of material realism.


Shabbat goes gourmet

By Anthea Gerrie, February 11, 2010

It is Friday night, and guests are coming for dinner. You do not know them well but you would like to impress them. Chopped liver, lockshen soup and roast chicken suddenly seem a tad old fashioned — and yet you hesitate to deviate from the norm in case your guests are actually looking forward to a traditional menu on Shabbat.


A bitter pill: beware the treif vitamins

By Ruth Joseph, February 11, 2010

Although we think of supplements as a modern innovation, Hippocrates is said to have cured night blindness with raw liver soaked in honey, while 3,500 years ago, King Amenophis IV ate liver to help his night vision. Now supplementation is huge business and the western world spends hundreds of millions on vitamins and minerals yearly.

We constantly seek to improve our health and arguments rage as to whether supplementation is necessary. Some firmly believe that eating a balanced diet will provide adequate nutrients for good heath and that taking vitamins is a shortcut to health.


How to find comfort without the calories

By Ruth Joseph, February 4, 2010

It’s that time of year when it is freezing outside and we crave comfort food. But most feel-good nosh seems to be fried, loaded with rich, creamy sauces or saturated with sugar. It is a proven fact that as the temperature drops we try to add extra sustenance to keep ourselves warm.

So how can one enjoy luscious food without adding on the pounds? There are simple tips that can help us to stay on course.


The Seder super bowl

By Denise Phillips, January 28, 2010

This Friday night is Seder night. But don’t panic, you do not have to clear your house of chametz before nightfall. It's Tu B’shvat, and one of the main traditions of this festival is to bring spirituality to the dining table in the form of a seder focused on new fruits.


Is soya the food it’s cracked up to be?

By Joan Wides, January 21, 2010

The value of increasing soya in Western diets has been much debated. Is it healthy or harmful? It has its detractors, but this is a healthy food with some interesting qualities.


A tale of preservation

By Ruth Joseph, January 21, 2010

What is fascinating about the humble pickle, seen on every Jewish table whether as a simple accompaniment to a burger, a family roast-chicken dinner, part of a grand Kiddush or a simchah meal, is that its origins reach as far back as 2030 BCE in Mesopotamia where archaeologists discovered pickled cucumber seeds.

They had been carried to the valley of the Tigris by Indian travellers. The pickle is mentioned twice in the Bible, in Isaiah 1:8 and Numbers 11:5; and ever since then, we have saved our glut of foods and pickled for leaner times.