Our WhaleTales Blog and Whale Cottage Portfolio website received a make-over this year (i.e. 2014) by 406Media, and despite an error severely hampering Google’s ability to find our blogposts (since repaired), we achieved more than 300000 unique pageviews in the past twelve months, or around 30000 unique pageviews per month. We are grateful to our loyal readers for visiting our Blog so regularly.
Our Top 10 Blogpost list, based on Google Analytic numbers of unique pageviews in the past 12 months, is as follows: Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Grass Consumer Action group, which is keeping retailers generally, and Woolworths specifically, on their toes in respect of the humane treatment of their suppliers’ animals, and the ethical and honest labeling of products. Ayrshire milk and cream has been misleadingly labeled, and falsely described as organic, just because (only half of) the cows eat grass; products containing GMO ingredients should be better identified and those ingredients removed; the Sustainability series ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ has been a greenwash of Woolworths’ misleading consumer communication; and more. Every time Grass challenges Woolworths on an ethical issue, the retail adjusts its labels!
The Sour Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay in the V&A Waterfront, and its manager Faizel, the only manager on duty on a recent Sunday evening. I had popped in to buy some bread and bananas, and saw the fruit weighing lady and a colleague chatting away, one even sitting down on the boxes of paw paws. I asked her what the problem was, and was told that she was ill. I asked why she didn’t go home if ill, but she said she was not allowed to. From the time I saw a Pick ‘n Pay staff member and requested her assistance to find the store manager, it took 15 minutes for Faizel to arrive at the till, where I was waiting for him, having already paid. He was rude in telling me that it is the staff member’s duty to tell him when they are ill, not that of customers! Cheekily he asked me if that was the reason why I had called for him!
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog. FOR THE DURATION OF MASTERCHEF SA SEASON 3 WE ARE MOVING THE SWEET & SOUR SERVICE AWARDS TO SATURDAYS.
Can Robertsons be any more dominant in MasterChef SA than in last night’s episode 8? We have renamed MasterChef SA MasterRobertsons, as the hard sell of the spice brand in this Season 3 is becoming laughable! One wonders how judges Benny Masekwameng and Pete Goffe-Wood (note his grumpy look in the M-Net publicity shot) must feel to have to push the brand, not an issue which Reuben Robertsons Riffel loses any sleep about, having cashed in on the spice brand for the past three years, thereby losing any credibility he may have previously had as a chef!
The episode started with the Blue Team, which lost the Team Challenge in episode 7. Filmed on an interesting looking bridge in Umhlanga, directly at the ocean, the five Finalists Penny Fitchet, Refilwe Tselanyane, Roxi Wardman, Francois Zietsman, and Sipho Mdlankomo watching as Chef Benny was wheeled onto the bridge in a rickshaw, clutching a cloche, which he ceremoniously opened to reveal a Bean Curry Bunny Chow. On the table surrounding the typical Durban dish was a collection of about 20 Robertsons spices and herbs, each covering a board with a black or a white sticker. The task of the five Finalists was to each identify one of 15 spices and herbs in the Bunny Chow, just from tasting it. The Finalists each drew a wooden cooking spoon with a number on it, to determine the order in which they had to identify the ingredients. The Robertsons collection stood on a table with the ultimate kitsch tablecloth, in a bright orange, looking like rosettes. Riffel clearly did not take History at school, confusing the role of Durban and Cape Town in linking our country to the East!
It was said by Riffel that the pressure would be on Roxi to identify the spices Continue reading →
It was the last episode of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ last night, going full circle in Hayden having surfed off Muizenberg in episode 1, and doing so as well in Umhlanga in episode 13 last night. It was a shame that Hayden chose to end off his endorsement for Woolworths’ sustainability program by playing silly games with two pieces of Naan bread and stick out his tongue, a photograph placed on the programme series’ Facebook page.
Hayden visited a hydroponic cucumber farm Qutom Farms outside Durban, which supplies Woolworths. They catch rain water, and therefore they have not had to use external water for more than two years. The plants are grown in glasshouses with covering over the roofs to allow the staff to adapt the amount of light shining onto the cucumber plants. Derrick Baird, Director of Qutam Farms, said that the hydroponic farm ‘is a little bit of Europe here in South Africa’. They also use solar heating for the plant, generating about 220 kw per day. The plants are grown in cocopeat instead of in soil. A fine mist is sprayed if it gets too hot. No pesticides are used, allowing Hayden to eat a crunchy cucumber without having to wash it.
The Victoria Spice Market in Durban is known as the best place in which to buy curry spices. Viewers were Continue reading →