The Jewish Chronicle - - Life/food - SI­MON ROUND

Th­ese dips are ex­cel­lent — thanks to the Is­raelis

IT IS de­press­ing how many times in re­cent months I have had to re­port sub-stan­dard kosher food­stuffs. But, there is at least one area in which su­per­vised prod­ucts ex­cel: with a few ex­cep­tions, kosher dips are in a dif­fer­ent class. This is al­most all due to the Is­raeli in­flu­ence — there are very few fridges in Is­rael not stocked with tubs of hum­mus, aubergine dips and olive salad.

Of the four dips I tasted, three were tra­di­tion­ally Is­raeli. The Yar­den aubergine salad was hard to fault. The aubergine had been slow­cooked in a sub­tly spiced tomato sauce un­til it had al­most the con­sis­tency of a spread. It is the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to warm pitta, falafel, or as a starter in it­self — I could quite hap­pily eat it with a spoon from the con­tainer.

Yar­den’s olive and pep­per salad — also in a tomato sauce — was more tangy and would work well as a rel­ish with chicken or lamb ke­babs, with a spoon­ful or two of tahina and a splash of chilli sauce. And if you hap­pen to be short of a top­ping for your pasta, a dol­lop of it would do very nicely.

McFreed’s aubergine caviar — cooked aubergine finely diced and mixed with may­on­naise — has the per­fect con­sis­tency and a dreamy taste. It would be easy to nosh the best part of a tub with a piece of pitta, but be­ware the high calo­rie count.

McFreed’s smoked sal­mon ril­lette is equally calorific but the temp­ta­tion to overdo it is not so in­tense. This was the only non-Is­raeli style dip tasted and, sig­nif­i­cantly, it was the least sat­is­fac­tory. Its taste was salmony enough but it con­tained a huge amount of may­on­naise which made it over-rich and slightly cloy­ing — fine in small quan­ti­ties, though.

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