Thursday, October 31, 2013

131031Main Ingredient's MENU - Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report, Caroline’s White Wine Review, Bartho’s Savvy Celebration, Spicy Pork and Butternut Stew, Palm oil, an environmental disaster

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Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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Evening cruise on a sparkling Table Bay
In this week’s MENU:
* The Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report
* Caroline’s White Wine Review
* Taste older Sauvignons from all over the world – Bartho’s Savvy Celebration
* Spicy Pork and Butternut Stew
* Palm oil – an environmental disaster
Follow this link to see our Main Ingredient blogs, because to tell our whole story here would take too much space. Click on Bold words in the text of this edition to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information.
This week’s Product menu: We have new stock of chestnuts, in cans and jars and have replenished our stock of the ever popular truffle oils. Patés have been selling well, especially the delicious French duck rillette, and we have more of those in stock too. Confit duck in 2 and 4 leg cans is wonderful on its own and is brilliant in cassoulet. They’re in our shop. See it here
Our market activities Come and visit us at the Old Biscuit Mill’s wonderfully exciting, atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking. It’s quite easy if you know how. Click here for a map which shows where we park.
As usual, we have a link at the bottom to our calendar of wine and food related events which should interest all lovers of great food and wine and events which promote them. We have always had a few from centres outside the Western Cape, but we now have enough to justify a separate list, so, if you live in one of the other splendid places in our lovely country, have a look. If you are promoting an event in any of these places, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list.
The Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report with Sanlam      To quote Christian: “The Chardonnay Report was started in 2011 to scrutinise the top-end of the category in South Africa on an annual basis. In undertaking the exercise, I wanted firstly to take a view on the overall level of quality but secondly start to explore issues of terroir – is provenance discernible, and moreover, might it start becoming something worth a real premium?”
We had an opportunity to taste the results this week at Burrata with many of the wine media. It is always good to see what Christian and his band of judges come up with and to see if we agree. There were some really good Chardonnays, one huge surprise for us, some we knew would win kudos and awards and a couple we found rather too overwooded and in the style that turned people away from Chardonnay in the past. But that is what different tastes throw into a mix like this. Click here to see the awards and pictures of the event
We have begun to love Chardonnay again over the last couple of years and love the way the South African wine industry is treating this beautiful grape. We love the lean and elegant French style, wines full of citrus and marmalade, the well integrated wines where the wood adds structure, but does not blunt your palate with burnt flavours or tannins, wine that has mellowed in good quality barrels for more than a scant few months, or wines that completely unwooded and lively.  Heavy applications of wood chips or batonage are just not on anymore. Chardonnay can be full of golden fruit and sunshine and, more than anything else, it can add so much to food. And, yes, we do think that terroir is starting to point the way to where the best can be grown - Hemel & Aarde and Elgin often come to the fore in awards.
Our favourites were rather predictable, we so agreed with the judges on four of the top wines:  the 5 star 2012 Paul Cluver (R125) which is full and complex and a huge compliment to food, and the 5 star 2012 Groot Constantia (R155) is full of citrus, vanilla and perfume.  4½ star The Hamilton Russell 2012 (R290) surprised us, we did not expect to like this as much as we did and we think winemaker Hannes Storm has really got it right with a huge golden wine, without too much wood overtaking it. Every time we have tasted the KWV The Mentors 2012 Chardonnay (R160) this year we have loved it and this continues.
Do go and find some of these, they are well worth drinking.
Caroline’s White Wine Review     This was held on Wednesday night at the huge Table Bay Hotel venue.  Normally, Caroline chooses the wines she wants the farms to exhibit; last night, the winemakers could bring what they considered to be their best white wine. And they so did!  It is extremely difficult to be objective about this sort of tasting, where most of the wines and bubblies we tasted were absolutely terrific both in quality and flavour. We started with three completely different MCC bubblies.  Different, unique but all good to go. David van Niekerk’s High Constantia Clos André 2009 has water biscuits on the nose and a lovely aged rich character; Lourensford’s Brut 2008 is jam packed full of limes and lemons and would match seafood phenomenally well and Graham Beck Brut Zero 2008 shows what a little lees contact can do to a bone dry MCC; it sparkles with life. Lynne’s average score for the 47 wines she tasted was about 17.5 and there was one 20 for the Incredible Five Generations 2010 Chenin Blanc from Cederberg made by Alex Nel. This is a wine so layered and full of fruit concentration and depth that it is a wine to covet. David Trafford’s Sijnn white blend 2012 was a 19, tasting of sweet layered fruit on pebble stones. Groote Post Riesling sang in the glass with 13gm of sugar and not a turpene in sight, very Germanic in style, was also a 19. Diemersdal’s Eight Rows Sauvignon Blanc is exactly the style of Sauvignon we want to drink: herbaceous, green peppers, limes and minerality, another 19, as is De Grendel 2013 Koetshuis SB. We could go on for hours describing Antonij Rupert, Beaumont, Cape Point, Buitenverwachting, De Wetshof, Paul Cluver, Oak Valley, Simonsig and Spier.. and many more. Thank you Caroline. She stocks them all and is about to open a new shop in Tokai. We took a few photographs
A chance to taste older Sauvignons Blanc from all over the world     Suné and Bartho Eksteen's 2013 Savvy Celebration (the 21st) will take place at the end of November in Hermanus.  There are just a few places left and if you have forgotten to book, get moving! We will be there taking notes and photographs for them. Click here for the information . Our photographs of last year’s celebration can be seen here. Arnaud Bourgeois of the respected Sancerre producer Henri Bourgeois will be the guest of honour. He will lead the workshop and presents some interesting samples from the Vignerons de Sancerre. Suné has produced a detailed prospectus as a .pdf file. If you would like to receive it, please send us a request and we’ll send it to you as an attachment. It is too large to include as part of this newsletter and we can’t translate the format into our blog
This week’s recipe is perhaps a different take on some familiar ingredients and creates a nice spicy and rich stew with a hint of chilli and spices. Not quite a curry, but a very delicious meal in one pot.  Lynne used some spicy masala we bought in Durban on our last trip.
Spicy Pork and Butternut Stew
2 T canola oil – 1 kg boneless lean pork cubes – 2 chopped onions - 2 chopped cloves garlic – 1 T Indian masala or curry powder – 1 t ground cumin – 600 ml chicken stock -  300 ml tomato piassava or 3 T tomato puree – salt and freshly ground black pepper - 1 kg butternut, cut into 3 cm cubes – 1 kg baby new potatoes in their skins – 1 cup frozen peas
In a casserole with a lid, fry the pork in the oil until it is brown on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and fry for two minutes until it is starting to soften then add the masala and cumin and stir until the onion is covered in the spice.  Add the stock, tomato passata or puree, salt and pepper bring to the boil, stirring well to get the spices and browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Return the pork to the pot, cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.  Add the butternut and potatoes. Cover again and simmer until they are just done. Ad the peas and simmer for another five minutes. Then serve in bowls with a good unwooded chardonnay.
Serves six plus seconds.
Palm oil has become an ingredient in a huge number of processed foods and cosmetics and is sometimes touted as a healthy alternative. What is not told sufficiently often is the environmental story. The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is indigenous to West Africa, but grows very well in other tropical areas. It has been, and continues to be, widely planted in Malaysia and Indonesia, where huge areas of indigenous forest are being destroyed and replaced with oil plantations. This is doing enormous damage to the habitat of several endangered species, including orang-utans. And before they plant, they burn the indigenous forest, causing worldwide air pollution. This photograph from the latest National Geographic shows some of the damage. We wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.
Photo by Mathis Klum, Borneo 2008. “A birds-eye view offers indisputable evidence of environmental destruction, as roads and terraced fields erase biodiversity in favour of just one species: the oil palm tree. The profitability of palm oil has sent the crop sprawling across an area the size of Switzerland” ©National Geographic Society
If you want to see more, click here. It is a cheap ingredient for the large corporations but a hugely expensive ingredient to the world we live in.
From a healthy eating point of view, it is less dangerous than the trans fats it is replacing, but is not as good for you as olive oil or canola oil. This internet article says it very well.
Buying from us On Line We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our on line shop. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa. Please do not pay until we have confirmed availability and invoiced you, then you pay and then we deliver or post. When you make an eft payment, make sure that it says who you are. Use the form on the website to email us your order. Click here to see our OnLine Shop.
There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To see what’s happening in our world of food and wine (and a few other cultural events), visit our Events Calendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number of exciting events to entertain you right through the year. Events outside the Western Cape are listed here.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here.
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here. Pete Ayub, who made our very popular Prego sauce, runs evening cooking classes at Sense of Taste, his catering company in Maitland. We can recommend them very highly, having enjoyed his seafood course. Check his programme here. Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has cooking classes in Fish Hoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here. Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia. Brett Nussey’s Stir Crazy courses are now being run from Dish Food and Social’s premises in Main Road Observatory (opposite Groote Schuur hospital). Lynn Angel runs the Kitchen Angel cooking school and does private dinners at her home. She holds hands-on cooking classes for small groups on Monday and Wednesday evenings. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here
31st October 2013
Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our online shop for details and prices.
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information
Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian or Dutch flavoured Afrikaans.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.

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