All posts tagged: #spring

the green gems of spring….

With Spring in full bloom, the Galilee is a place of beauty with wild flowers cascading through the lush green hills, the smell of the citrus in the air and the white blossoms have fallen to the ground, to make way for the first fruits. May heralds the beginning of the elusive fresh, green almond, a misunderstood nut that is grown in Northern Israel and throughout the Middle East. South of Nazareth in the Lower Galilee is the Arab village of Iksal, famous for their almond groves and the abundant harvests of a special strain of almond called Um al-Fahem. unique not only in it’s size and taste but also for it’s extra soft skin. These almonds are sold as fair trade and known to be amogst the best in Israel. Delicate in both flavour and texture, the young, unripe nuts are picked whilst the outer skin remains light green and furry, well before the hard brown shell of the almond has had the chance to form. Inside the light olive green casing is a smooth, soft, white almond with a subtle, grassy flavour. They …

spring is in the air….

  Tu B’Shevat, is marked in the Jewish calendar as a celebration of the sign of the early saplings and the beginning of the Spring. Known as the New Year for Trees, this festival is traditionally known as the festival of nature and marked by the planting of young trees across Israel and the involvement in ecological projects up and down the country. Tu B’Shevat is thought to be an agricultural festival with strong biblical roots and as with most Jewish festivals, religious or non, food plays an integral part. It is the fruits and grains native to the land of milk and honey that are significant on Tu B’Shevat and therefore it is customary to eat pomegranates, dates, figs, grapes, barley, wheat and olives, known as the 7 species from the book of Deuteronomy. Despite the heavy rains in Israel today, young trees are being planted and beautiful seasonal produce are being eaten, for today is Tu’B’Shevat and spring is in the air…..