Eastern Australia welcomes heavy rains

first_imgA buggy pulls people, sliding around in the mud, as they celebrate the rainfall in Winton, Queensland, Australia on Jan. 15 in this still image taken from social media video. TEONIE DWYER VIA REUTERS Australia, famous for its pristinebeaches and wildlife, has been fighting bushfires since September, with fireskilling 29 people and millions of animals, and destroying over 2,500 homes. MELBOURNE – Thunderstorms with heavyrains dampened bushfires on Australia’s east coast on Friday. Victoria, New South Wales andQueensland, three of the states most affected by drought and bushfires,welcomed this week’s drenching rain. Severe storms are forecast to continuein many fire-stricken regions of New South Wales and Queensland, includingareas that have not seen heavy falls for years, weather officials said.(Reuters)last_img read more

Steph Curry’s surprising role in the naming of dogs

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having trouble viewing these photos on a mobile deviceSteph Curry isn’t just a superstar. He’s also probably pretty good at chasing a ball, rolling over and snuggling on the couch.We’re talking about Steph Curry, the dog, that is, not Steph Curry the famous Golden State Warriors’ point guard.San Francisco Bay Area pet owners are increasingly naming their dogs after the MVP shooter. Rover.com, an online network of pet sitters and dog walkers, says the name is up by 50 …last_img read more

South Africa’s big cheeses

first_imgKlein River Farm cheese maker Jacko van Beulen getting ready to start a new batch of cheese. The cheeses mature for an average of six months. (Images: Wicus Leeuwner)Jennifer SternTraditionally, South Africans have not been particularly sophisticated cheese consumers. Until the last few decades of the 20th Century, you really had to know where to look to find anything other than artificially coloured bright yellow gouda or cheddar with the consistency and flavour of well-matured rubber. But as we draw to the close of the first decade of the new century, that is definitely no longer the case.South Africa now has a few hundred boutique cheese makers, and even the big commercial cheese factories are producing quality cheese, moving away from the dark yellow plastic of previous decades. In 2008, big names like Clover and Parmalat appeared on the list of winners of Qualité awards.These awards, started in 2001, go to South African dairy champions who have obtained a specific minimum score on an internationally recognised scale. Few products earn this prestigious award – in 2008 only 15 cheeses out of 478 made the grade. These are then allowed to display the distinctive and prestigious logo on their packaging for the year.“The objective is twofold,” says Kobus Mulder, dairy manager for Agri Expo. “Firstly, it’s a way to reward manufacturers who have achieved outstanding quality in their products and, secondly, it provides a benchmark so that consumers can, with confidence, buy cheeses that display this accreditation,”And one of the cheeses that cracked the nod last year was the Klein River havarti.A river runs through itThe Klein River Cheese Farm is a little piece of heaven tucked away on the banks of the – you guessed it – Klein River, near the small but fashionable village of Stanford on the southern coast of the Western Cape.The farm has a small tasting room, where you can buy cheese and other yummy delights like home made preserves and estate olive oil. And if you fancy a day down by the river, you can buy a picnic basket containing cheese (of course), cold meats, pâtés, a home-baked ciabatta, salad and cheese straws.Riaan Lourens and his wife Shelley have been farming here for 30 years, and his father farmed the land before him. When he took over he had a big herd of Friesland cows and supplied milk to one of the big dairies. After a while he decided he could do better bottling his own milk, so he started supplying the nearby towns of Stanford, Hermanus and Gansbaai. As the latter two, particularly, were seasonal, in some months he found he had excess milk on his hands, so he decided to start making cheese.He soon realised that the Friesland milk wasn’t ideal for cheese production, so he started buying in Jersey milk from a neighbouring farm. He has since stopped producing milk, and now concentrates on making cheese from Jersey milk that he buys from four farmers, all within a 20-kilometre radius.South African gruyereBefore he started to make cheese Lourens did some homework, and decided to make a gruyere-style cheese, as no-one else in South Africa was making it. It turned out to be a good choice. It’s of equivalent quality to the imported variety, and much cheaper.Gruyere is made in Switzerland, so the cheese that Lourens makes in Stanford is called South African gruyere. It’s a rind-washed, or rind-brushed, cheese, he explains. The cheese is fermented for six months, during which it is washed with a brine solution every two days.The brine solution contains a culture of Bacterium linens, which gives the cheese its distinctive taste, and slowly produces a brick-red rind. This is where cheese making gets interesting because, after a while, the culture permeates the maturing rooms, and the brine can be used without added culture for a long time before more needs to be added. And it mutates and evolves slowly in response to a host of factors including temperature, humidity, altitude and quite possibly phases of the moon.“Those bacteria become the DNA of his cheese,” Mulder explains. “That’s why gruyere in Switzerland is protected. No cheese made anywhere else can ever taste like that. That’s why Riaan can’t just call his cheese gruyere. He calls it South African gruyere.“But if someone makes South African gruyere in KwaZulu-Natal, it won’t taste the same. Maybe he should call it Stanford gruyere.”The South African gruyere is Klein River’s flagship cheese, and its biggest seller by far, accounting for 70% of sales. It’s matured for six months, but Lourens also produces an extra-mature version, matured for 12 months, and a young version, that is matured for only three months.Branching outDespite the success of his gruyere, Lourens couldn’t resist trying something new. After a year or two he made colby and leiden, but was in for a bit of a shock. It all went well until he put the cheese in the maturing room, where it started growing a red culture rind.“It had an interesting flavour,” he says, and it’s clear from his expression that “interesting” is a euphemism. So now he keeps the colby and leiden, and later also the danby, in a separate cold house, where it is safe from the Bacterium linens.Lourens’s factory also makes grana, raclette, havarti, danbo and two local cheeses – Sir Robert Stanford, which is named after the founder of the village, and Van Beulen – a cheese designed by their present cheese maker, Jacko van Beulen.They also make two soft cheeses – a Danish-style feta and a cream cheese, flavoured with either olives and garlic or sweet chilli. These are only sold in the farm shop and not distributed to other retailers. Lourens would love to add a camembert to the stable but, he says, it needs a different rind culture so he would have to build a whole new set of cold rooms.How it all comes togetherCheese making is an ancient art, at once both easy and very technical. The method is simple but, in order to maintain a consistent quality, the process needs to be carefully controlled.Lourens explains: “You heat up the milk with hot water or steam. You throw in your cultures and heat it up to the right temperatures, and then you add your rennet. We use plant rennet that thickens the milk. It takes three hours to make a batch. And then you put it into moulds. It stays in the mould overnight, and then in a salt brine for 24 hours or more, depending on the cheese. And then it goes to the maturing rooms for an average of six months. With the grana, we take it out of the brine, seal it and leave it. But the gruyere we have to wash every two days. It’s a lot of work.”“Making cheese is very labour intensive,” says Mulder. “The cheeses are matured at different temperatures and relative humidity. And cheese is a natural product. Every batch of cheese you make is different. What we’re trying to do, [with the Qualité Awards] is to keep the standard of quality as consistent as possible”But, as with many things, the proof is in the eating. I tasted my way through the range when I was in Stanford, and I left with a good supply of the South African gruyere, the grana and the Van Beulen. (The grana and gruyere are low fat, so that’s good, right?)Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesSouth African foodCape Town’s good food guide Mr Ball’s Chutney comes home Brewing up boutique beers Acclaim for SA sommelier Useful linksKlein River Cheese FarmSouth African Cheese Agri Expolast_img read more

Four Seasons moves into South Africa

first_img29 July 2013Canadian luxury hotel group Four Seasons has signed a long-term management agreement with The Westcliff hotel in Johannesburg, marking its entry into South Africa as part of its expansion plans for the rest of Africa.“Having a property in Johannesburg – the gateway to the whole of southern Africa – is essential as we explore opportunities for growth in South Africa and across the continent,” executive vice president of worldwide development for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Scott Woroch, said in a statement last week.“Africa’s economic growth, improved stability and ease of travel have made the continent increasingly attractive to luxury travellers and Four Seasons.”The Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg is expected to open in the second quarter of 2014 following renovations and construction.Renovations include an expanded outdoor terrace, a new spa, fitness centre and outdoor pool, as well as new restaurant and bar concepts by United Kingdom design firm Blacksheep.The Westcliff’s original architects, RSL Architects, have been hired to ensure renovations are in line with its initial design.“Recognising the property’s prominent location within the city and neighbourhood, Four Seasons and the property’s owners will work closely with local consultants to ensure the design aesthetic of the property is preserved,” the hotel group said.The opening of the Four Seasons Westcliff will mark the group’s second property in Africa, following the opening of the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania in 2012.“With our recently established development office in Dubai, we plan to be much more active in Africa, pursuing both new build developments and conversion opportunities such as the Westcliff and Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, which opened last year,” Woroch said.Sebastien Carre has been appointed general manager of the Johannesburg hotel and brings over 10 years of experience as a general manager at Four Seasons hotels around the world.As demand for luxury travel experiences in Africa grows, so does the need for a new standard of service,” said Four Seasons president of hotel operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Christopher Norton.“Under Sebastien’s leadership, Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh [on the Red Sea] was voted the number one resort in the world in 2011, and we are certain that Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg will soon take its place among the world’s best.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Loss to Pirates only motivates Red Lions

first_imgMOST READ CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Mocon fired 14 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists to help the Red Lions’ cause, but he’s especially glad with how his other teammates stepped up despite the loss.“On the bright side, we had lots of players who stepped up for us,” he said, giving special mentions to Donald Tankoua, Clint Doliguez, and Franz Abuda.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTankoua fired a career-best 34 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks, Doliguez had 13 markers and five boards, while Abuda got eight points and six rebounds as all three saw significant minutes in the clutch.Despite losing the twice-to-beat advantage as they figure in the stepladder semis, the Red Lions are using the setback as a fuel to make it to the Finals and meet the Pirates again. Read Next View comments San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 93 PLAY LIST 02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9302:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd02:46Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netJavee Mocon is sticking to the positives in the aftermath of San Beda’s 107-105 double overtime defeat to Lyceum on Thursday.“We’ve proven that we could win against them. We had so many chances but we also had so many turnovers and we just couldn’t grab the opportunity,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Westbrook has triple-double, new-look Thunder rout Knicks Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “Every time we lose, we’re so sad in our locker room. We rarely lose and that’s the reason we feel bad. We’re just going to improve and get back to work especially on our defense. We follow the game plan of coach Boyet regardless of who out opponent is,” he said. “Everybody wants to get back on track and everybody now has the motivation to beat LPU.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.last_img read more

24 days agoLiverpool boss Klopp: Van Dijk world’s best centre-back

first_imgLiverpool boss Klopp: Van Dijk world’s best centre-backby Freddie Taylor24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back in world football.The Dutchman recently finished second behind Lionel Messi in the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Season award.Despite making a crucial mistake in the loss to Napoli two weeks ago, Klopp still has faith in his defensive stalwart.”Yep, I think so. I’m really happy with all my other defenders but yeah, he is the best at the moment,” Klopp said on Tuesday when asked if he felt Van Dijk was the best in the world.”We conceded in Napoli… which country are you from? Italy? I thought so… I still think it was not a penalty!”Napoli have to come to Liverpool, so it’s not decided yet, but we lost the game, that’s a fact as well and we have to start winning.”We don’t even have a little bit of a feeling that this game tomorrow is half done. It’s not. They will surprise a lot of people. But if there is anybody in the world who knows most about how they do what they do, it’s me.”I have a pretty good side as well and we want to be the most uncomfortable opponent in world football and if we are that tomorrow it’s not easy for Salzburg.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

9 days agoEintracht Frankfurt chairman Steubing enjoys swipe at AC Milan signing Rebic

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Eintracht Frankfurt chairman Steubing enjoys swipe at AC Milan signing Rebicby Carlos Volcano9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveEintracht Frankfurt chairman Wolfgang Steubing has enjoyed a swipe at Ante Rebic.Rebic left Eintracht Frankfurt for AC Milan over the summer.“Honestly, I don’t know what to say,” Steubing told Bild.“He wanted to leave, because otherwise he would be the only one of the three strikers to stay at Frankfurt.“Now, he sits outside. He took a gamble and lost. And it won’t get any easier for him.” last_img read more

Listen: Brandon Harris’ High School Coach Wants Him To Transfer From LSU

first_imgLSU fans wait in line outside Tiger Stadium.BATON ROUGE, LA – SEPTEMBER 19: Fans wait outside of Tiger Stadium to watch the football team arrive between the Louisiana State University Tigers and the University of Louisiana-Lafatette Ragin’ Cajuns at Tiger Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)Freshman quarterback Brandon Harris had a shot to win the quarterback job at LSU this season. After promising performances against Mississippi State and New Mexico State, Harris had a putrid game in the Tigers’ loss to Auburn, completing just 3-of-14 throws for 58 yards in a 41-7 loss. Harris threw just one more pass on the season, an interception against Kentucky. Harris’ high school coach David Feaster doesn’t believe that his former player got a fair shot in Baton Rouge, and encouraged him to transfer to JuCo and eventually another Division I program.Feaster: I tried to talk Brandon Harris into transferring at the break. Since he qualified, he could go JUCO, play 1 yr., go elsewhere— TheTimFletcherShow (@FletchWorldWide) January 28, 2015Feaster: LSU had worst passing game and best QB on the bench— TheTimFletcherShow (@FletchWorldWide) January 28, 2015Feaster: Brandon is dedicated to LSU. He really wants to make it work— TheTimFletcherShow (@FletchWorldWide) January 28, 2015You’re not biased towards your kid or another but you KNOW when an athlete could play in the collegiate level. -Wilson— TheTimFletcherShow (@FletchWorldWide) January 28, 2015Apparently LSU is still telling WR recruits that “you’re QB, you know, Brandon Harris.”— TheTimFletcherShow (@FletchWorldWide) January 28, 2015Feaster said he was sick of LSU telling lies to the public.— TheTimFletcherShow (@FletchWorldWide) January 28, 2015If Feaster were Anthony Jennings dad, he’d be upset with Miles for saying this year was a disappointing QB year.— TheTimFletcherShow (@FletchWorldWide) January 28, 2015Between the lack of faith in both Harris and Anthony Jennings, and the fact that LSU has reportedly had contact with potential transfers like Everett Golson and Braxton Miller, Feaster has a point. However, we totally understand why Harris would want to stick it out at a program like LSU.[247Sports]last_img read more