Entries tagged with “Rhodes Food Group”.


Woolworths Good Food News Front page Whale CottageWe wrote recently how Woolworths has been misleading consumers with claims about its Ayrshire milk, deceiving food labelling, and how it tries to create an image of healthy produce via its ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ series on SABC3. The group Grass Consumer Food Action has been persistent in its criticism of Woolworths, and appears to have hit a raw nerve in the Good Business Journey division at Woolworths, the retailer having launched a brand new ‘Good Food News‘ 16-page insert in the Sunday Times yesterday! It looks like a Taste magazine (the Woolworths sponsored magazine published by New Media Publishing) but printed in Tabloid format on recycled paper!

While the Tabloid has ‘headlines’ on page 1, to attract one’s attention to the content, it consists of a mix of ‘advertorials’ of its award-winning wines (since when are wines a food, as per the name of the publication?) in ‘Crowned as the best‘; ‘responsibly sourced‘ fish;  braai suggestions for ‘Ready Steady Braai’; and ‘Flavours of Home‘ (preparedWoolworths Good Food News Responsible Sourcing Whale Cottage foods with strong spices such as curries, and traditional foods such as koeksisters and milk tart); as well as editorial. It is obviously planned as a monthly insert, numbered ‘Issue 01′, and dated September 2014.  The focus of the first issue is ‘lovelocal‘:

*   ‘New on the shelf‘ (page 3) showcases new pack designs for wine boxes, braai tins, braai marinade, braai (more…)

Franschhoek has shown its quality of winemaking, by having two of its vignerons (Boekenhoutskloof and Chamonix) being named the top winery by Platter in the past two years.  Now the Winelands village is the Cheese Capital of South Africa too, in that Dalewood Fromage has been awarded the 2013 Dairy Product of the Year, for its six month matured Huguenot cheese, at the DuPont Qualité Awards dinner of the SA Dairy Championships.

Dalewood Fromage is located on the outskirts of Franschhoek, and is known for its excellent quality cheeses.  Its Huguenot cheese is the largest wheel of cheese made in our country, has a semi-hard brushed rind, and is slowly matured for six months.  It has an intense flavour, with nutty nuances.  Cheesemaker Rob Visser developed the cheese ten years ago.  SA Dairy Championships’ chief judge Kobus Mulder said of the cheese: ‘If this cheese should be available in the Haute Savoie region of France, those discerning cheese experts would appreciate it no end’.

Twelve dairy products were awarded the Qualité mark of dairy excellence:  Simonsberg Matured Gouda, Woolworths Mild Cheddar White, Woolworths Salted Butter (all three produced by Parmalat), Klein River Grana, Klein River SA Gruyere, Clover Processed cheese slices, Dalewood Fromage six month matured Huguenot cheese, Woolworths Magical Mousse Swirls (made by Fair Cape Dairies), Fairview Chevin with Garlic and Herbs, Woolworths plain fat free smooth cottage cheese (made by Lancewood), Langbaken Karoo Cheese’s Karoo Crumble, and Rhodes Food Group’s Fior di Latte.  Interesting is the domination of the Woolworths brand on this list, although their products were made by three different suppliers!  An additional 95 dairy products were awarded SA Champions, out of the total of about 800 dairy products entered by 69 artisanal and commercial producers.  A team of 59 judges, including dairy specialists and food writers, evaluated the top dairy products.

The SA Dairy Championships results reflect the passion and quality that goes into the making of dairy products, not only by artisanal producers, but also by the large dairy companies.

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

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