Opinion, Rants, and Stories

Woolworths, I’d love to come back.

I am going to go on a little rant. It is not about wine. Nor is it about me not having wine (a usual rant of mine), but rather, it is about stock.

Anyone who knows anything about cooking knows that the secret is usually in the stock. What is the point of laboriously cooking a stew with a low-grade stock cube? Why make a risotto if you are going add sub-standard powdered bullshit? Really, it is of no use at all. It is the equivalent to mixing a measure of the finest brandy with cream soda. It shows you have the palate of a barbarian. I have nothing against barbarians; actually some of my best friends are barbarians. But when it comes to cooking, well, I would rather be on the side of Floyd than on the side the barbaric hoi-polloi.

But making one’s own stock is a pain in our fast-paced modern lives. A worthy chore, of that there is no doubt, but a chore nonetheless. And every time I added even the most expensive stock granules I felt as if a cookery book somewhere committed suicide. However, a savior was found in a Woolworths aisle. Nomu Fonds. Barbarians, here is your chance to fake it. Here was my way to save cookery books from self-immolation. A noble cheat, a brilliant culinary side-step.

With gay abandon did I start using the fonds, happily cooking up stews, risottos, casseroles, using the lamb, vegetable, chicken and beef bottles of magic with unashamed gusto.

But just as my culinary joy was at its zenith, so the troubles began.

I like Woolworths food stores. Their wine selection is the best of any supermarket. (Tip: They are selling Sequillo 08 for around 90 bucks. A bargain for an excellent wine) I like the English muffins, the roast chicken, the efficient service at the tills, the packaging; I am a bit of a Woolworths fanboy to be honest. But I am also lazy; I like shopping at one store.

So you can easily imagine my dismay when the selection of Nomu Fonds started decreasing at the Woolworths stores I frequent. There were less and less of them on the shelves. Why, I asked myself, would this most excellent store start to take from me this most excellent product?

I still shop at Woolworths, but on the days that there is something on the menu that requires a quality stock I make my way over to Pick ‘n Pay where the fonds are available in their entirety. And now as the bony fingers of winter have firmly taken hold my meals generally require a good stock.

I ask you Woolworths, please make these fonds more readily available so that I may frequent your aisles once more. I long to again take in that smell of roasting chicken as I ponder over which wine to buy, so I may again buy your delicious English muffins who are to tea what a hefty Cabernet Sauvignon is to a quality steak. Please, I entreat you, stock again these tasty fonds.

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12 thoughts on “Woolworths, I’d love to come back.”

  1. I cannot fathom how the countries best stock is not available in what is considered our premium retailer. I don’t get it. In the middle of winter nogal, when all we are doing is making soup and stews.

    1. That works. It is more my frustration of not being able to throw a Fond in my trolly or basket when I am in Woolworths. It’s such an awesome product it seems bizarre that they are not there, and like Sam said, not there in the middle of winter. Muy loco.

  2. I share your consternation at the abomination of Woolworths not stocking the best stock in South Africa. A sad day indeed. Well written and I co-sign the treaty!! xx

  3. I will have to try Fond instead of the Wollies barbarian stock powder( one of the best without addititves). The Nomu Dukkah is devine

  4. What do you think of Marco Pierre White’s endorsement of the Knorr stock cubes/pots etc? You can check them out on YouTube. Basically the company trying to elevate their brand simply through association, but really just comes off a bit lame.
    Knorr always makes me think of a little box of stock cubes that used to sit in the cupboard back in the day, that smell and resemble crappy packet soup when dissolved.

    1. Fully. I remember going to The Good Food and Wine show a year ago (I think) and they had these celebrity chefs doing life cooking demos. The thing was they all had to use Knorr. I just though, “would these guys ever use Knorr at home or in their restaurants? Really?” I understand Knorr’s reasoning, but it made the demonstration seem really forced.

      I think endorsements are effective when you believe the person endorsing them actually uses and enjoys the product. Knorr granules? I don’t buy it either.

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