My sweet gourd

By Ruth Joseph, October 10, 2008

Freshly harvested fruits and vegetables make Succot a joyous festival

Succah is a joyous occasion, described in Jewish literature as z'man simchateinu - the Season of Our Rejoicing. But it is also the Harvest festival. What better time to visit a local farmers' market and be inspired by locally grown cauliflower (wonderful steamed and layered with kosher mozzarella); fresh beetroot for a haimishe borscht; parsnips ready for roasting with a little grated fresh ginger and honey; alongside swedes, celeriac and an array of potatoes.


Make cheese like Booba? Piece of cake

By Ruth Joseph, October 3, 2008

Do you remember your grandmother making her own cheese? Many, particularly the older among you, will recall the vision of small, white muslin bags attached to a convenient tree in the garden, swinging gently in a summer breeze.


Which honey cake makes the cut?

By Denise Phillips, September 26, 2008

We recruited a team of testers to taste Rosh Hashanah honey cake. Here are the results.

Honey and Rosh Hashanah are synonymous. We bake it into our challahs, we dip our apples into it and of course use it in our desserts, particularly in honey cake.

There are many different recipes for honey cake. But it is not just the recipe that influences the flavour, it is also the type of honey used - there are many varieties, each with their own individual identity.


Yumtov desserts

By Ruth Joseph, September 19, 2008

Some can't-fail puddings for the High Holy-Days


The kosher pulse that can save the world

By Ruth Joseph, September 12, 2008

Lentils: tasty, historically haimishe and an eco-friendly alternative to meat.


In the past, lentils had a poor image, often regarded as food for sandalled hippies, eco-warriors and veggies. But historically, they have existed as part of Jewish dietary culture. Archaeological evidence in Ein Gedi shows that lentils grew during Chalcolithic times (4300-3300 BCE).

Every Jewish child has heard the story of Jacob and Esau in which Esau sold his birthright for a mess of potage - possibly the most expensive bowl of lentil soup in history.


Interview: Annabel Karmel

By Simon Round, September 12, 2008

Her recipes and supermarket food have earned her global fame, but negative media coverage still hurts

Annabel Karmel may be the country's best-known and top-selling author on children and family food but when people attack her work, it hurts. Although she is a fixture on the best-seller lists, she has been sneered at by interviewers from more than one newspaper.

Sitting over a dish of sea bream in an Italian restaurant in London, she says she cannot understand the criticisms.


If it’s New Year, it’s apple cake... but why?

By Denise Phillips, September 4, 2008

Food is central to Jewish life, not only as nourishment, but also in a spiritual and religious sense. Many of our festivals are associated with dishes - for example, cheesecake on Shavuot, apple cake on Rosh Hashanah, and so on. But what is the source of these symbolic links and how have they evolved?

In the Torah itself, food is rarely mentioned except in the context of the dietary laws and sacrifices. However, subsequent generations of Jews have created powerful and highly symbolic food links in order to assist with the celebration of key events.


How to use chilli, and other hot tips

By Judi Rose, August 28, 2008

What, if any, is the difference between chilli powder, chilli flakes, hot paprika and cayenne pepper, and can any of these be used as a substitute for fresh chilli peppers in recipes?


How far has kosher dining really come?

By Judy Jackson, August 22, 2008

The London kosher-restaurant scene has undergone a huge change. Take a trip along the Northern Line and you could stop off at 20 kosher restaurants. In place of traditional Ashkenazi food, you'll now find Persian, Israeli and American.

There is a flower shop selling pizzas and buffets groaning with curries and stir-fries. There's Mediterranean fish and pasta, a pub that does only chicken, steaks cooked on a griddle or served with foie gras - it all sounds good. There are over 100 kosher establishments in London. Boston, in the US, has just six. We should be grateful.


How the Holy Land got a pork habit

By Jeff Yoskowitz, August 15, 2008

‘White meat' is widely sold in Israel. We report on a controversial industry

Israel is known for its culinary diversity, but one item now being stocked in trendy Tel Aviv cafés is an indicator of how far secular Israel has separated from its religious traditions. A new culinary gourmet symbol of the country's cultural capital is prosciutto - the type of air cured ham associated with Parma in Italy.