Entries tagged with “Agri-Expo”.


imageFor the first time I was invited to assist in the judging of the 2016 SA Dairy Championships, 72 judges evaluating 895 dairy products entered by 85 producers, both record numbers. A total of 23 products received a Qualité Award, and one of these was named as the South African Dairy Product of the Year 2016, namely Dalewood Fromage Huguenot 12 months matured. (more…)

imageLast night KWV was crowned as the king of the wine industry for the fifth year running, winning 5 Double Gold and 9 Gold Awards for its wines, more than any other winemaker. Nederburg (2 Double Golds and 11 Gold Awards) and Spier (2 Double Golds and 8 Gold Awards) followed in second and third place, respectively, awarded at one of the highlights of the wine industry, a function attended by about 400 wine industry staff and media, with their partners. Kanonkop won the Best Performance by Entry title for 10 wines or fewer entered, while KWV won the title for more than 10 wines entered.  A total of 57 Double Gold, 157 Gold, 473 Silver, and 662 Bronze medals was awarded.  A mix of local and international judges evaluated the entries.

Not only were the wines with their winemakers and related staff celebrated, so too was the 25th anniversary of the Veritas Awards. The highlight of the evening for me was seeing how many women (more…)

Dairy Champiuonships MarcelsThe winner of the 2015 SA Dairy Championships is Marcel’s Frozen Yoghurt, which was named South African Dairy Product of the Year for its Woolworths Tropical Fruit Frozen Yoghurt.

Organisers of the Championships Agri-Expo said that it is the first time in the history of the dairy product competition that a frozen yoghurt has won the SA Dairy Championships, against a total of close to 900 dairy product entries received from 80 dairy producers, judged by 61 judges, including chefs and food writers.  A total of 95 dairy products were named South African Champions, and (more…)

Cheese Festival selection of cheesesThe 14th South African Cheese Festival opens today, and runs over the next three days, with more than 30000 visitors expected.  Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde will open the Festival today, and wants to see Western Cape cheese the focus of our country’s cheese industry, and that it be exported.

Two records have already been set for the 2015 Cheese Festival: it has the highest number of exhibitors ever, and the largest amount of space dedicated to cheese exhibitors in the history of the Cheese Festival.  The Cheese Festival is so popular that tickets for today and tomorrow are sold out already.

Visitors to the Cheese Festival will be introduced to new cheeses, and can enjoy cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, and meet personalities:

*   In Dairy Square the Checkers Cheese Emporium has been set up.  In the Checkers (more…)

Kleinrivier Grana Frieda LloydParmalat SA was the cream of the dairy crop at the SA Dairy Championships 2014, having won the largest number of  champion awards for its dairy products.  The Klein River Cheese Grana was named 2014 Dairy Product of the Year at the DuPont Qualité Awards, organised by Agri-Expo a week ago.
Klein River Cheese is based outside Stanford, and its award-winning Grana is a slow-matured hard cheese.  Its strength, fruitiness, slight sweetness, granular texture, and hard and thick rind preserving the cheese impressed the judges.  Chief judge Kobus Mulder said about this cheese: ‘ ...the Klein River Cheese Grana so impressed the judges with its great taste and typical texture that they were in total agreement that this was indeed Number 1‘. 
Agri-Expo CEO Johan Ehlers said about the stature of the South African cheese awards:

Sustainably presenting these Championships for 180 years, as well as the impressive growth in number of entries and quality thereof over the last decade, is indeed an achievement of note. The Championships today represents the entire South African dairy industry and is perceived as one of the top dairy competitions in the world’.  More than 800 dairy products by 68 dairy (more…)

Wordsworth Cheese Book 2The Wordsworth launch lunch of Agri-Expo Dairy Manager Kobus Mulder’s book ‘Cheeses of South Africa’ at Reuben’s at the One&Only Cape Town yesterday was most enjoyable, with great company, good food and wine, a charming hotel ambassador, and entertaining author/speaker.

Gorry Bowes-Taylor has been organising book launch lunches for Wordsworth for years, and will be a comedian in a next life, not being the most diplomatic lunch hostess, but is loved for making her guests laugh, and for finding new venues at which to hold the book launches.   As I have written before, the lunches have a cult following by some of her regulars, who are not really interested in the subject of the book or the author, but who find value in the R225 three course launch lunch, excellent quality wines, the chance of making new friends at the table, the chance of winning a prize in the lucky draw, and for being entertained by Gorry and the author/speaker. She did not disappoint with her lunch organisation yesterday. Wordsworth sets up a table to sell the discounted launch book at such a function. (more…)

Portobello Franschhoek Angelot is South Africa’s Dairy Product of the Year, awarded at the SA Dairy Championships earlier this week. The winning cheese is a washed-rind cheese, and beat 779 other dairy products to receive the honour, evaluated by a panel of 40 local and international judges.

Washed-rind cheeses are difficult to perfect, as the Ayrshire milk-based cheese ripens from the surface inwards. The Agri-Expo media release explains that “..the fermentation process as well as the metabolism of fat and protein must be managed extremely well by the cheesemaker”.  It is an extremely strong and pungent cheese, and the Portobello Franschhoek Angelot was judged to compare with the best of this kind of cheese from France. Washing the rind of the cheese as it matures changes the young cheese into a soft texture and its rind takes on an orange colour. As the cheese matures, the rind becomes sticky and reddish, and the aroma earthier, says the media release. “The paradox of a powerful aromatic rind and milder flavour is responsible for a veritable explosion in the mouth”.  Despite its strong taste and aroma, the Portobello cheese impressed the judges enough for it to receive this accolade.

The Outstanding Dairy Quality Qualité Mark of Excellence was awarded to 26 dairy products: Parmalat received six quality awards for their Simonsberg Matured Cheddar, Woolworths Farmhouse Cheddar, Parmalat Extra Matured Cheddar, Woolworths Vintage Cheddar, Parmalat Vintage Cheddar, and Simonsberg Traditional Cream Cheese. Clover won three awards (Elite Mild Cheddar, Feta with herbs, Mild Cheddar), and DairyBelle (Fiddlers, IWS Slice – Cheddar), De Pekelaar Kaas (Boerenkaas, Matured Boerenklaas), Lancewood (Woolworths Cream Cheese Plain, Woolworths Mascarpone Plain), Rhodes Food Group (Woolworths Ricotta, Portobello – Angelot), and Van der Poel Kaas (Hollandse Gouda – Extra Belegen, Hollandse Gouda – Oud) won two awards each.  Other winners were Anysbos Goat’s Milk – Halloumi), Fairview (Roydon Camembert), Goat Peter (Grison – Pecorino style), Le Montanara (Woolworths – Royal Ashton), Lausanne Dairies (Double Greek Yoghurt – Greek), Marcel’s Frozen Yogurt (Passion fruit), and Puglia Cheese (Pasta Filata Cheese – Burrata).

The SA Dairy Championships are the country’s largest dairy competition and Agri-Expo has been presenting it since 1834. According to Chief cheese Judge Kobus Mulder a rise in the quality of goat’s milk products can be seen, and especially goat’s milk yogurt can compete against the best cows’ milk yogurts on the market. “Producers are realising that the consumer’s taste and preferences are being refined and that they now increasingly expect products of higher quality,” he says.  “Aged and washed-rind cheeses are also gaining on the milder, more traditional products – pointing to a more developed consumer taste.”

The award-winning cheeses can be tasted at the SA Cheese Festival, running until Monday at Sandringham, off the N1, midway between Cape Town and Paarl.  Here is a link to the Portobello stand.

Agri-Expo, Tel (021) 975-4440.  www.cheesesa.co.za, www.cheesefestival.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage