Samu Chef is yet another of the wondrous ventures that were borne out of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s a way for small farmers to continue getting their soil-fresh produce to the consumers’ table during a time when the #lockdown restrictions threatened their very livelihoods.
Over the last few months, glued to my social media channels, I’ve watched Cape Town become creative in a bid to fight the devastating impact of the COVID-19 regulations on small businesses. Online pop-up shops, impromptu delivery services and food boxes were starting to become available as we struggled to navigate our way through this new way of being.
When Ruzaiq from Samu Chef initially reached out to me about a fresh produce delivery and helping to spread the word, I was overwhelmed and humbled and grateful and excited and proud all at the same time. Creating a platform for small-scale farmers to reach consumers to buy their fruit and vegetables, Samu Chef joined the front-line of the fight to protect and support the very people who are responsible for feeding our nation.
Putting aside all the heavy-lifting and social upliftment just for a minute, Samu Chef is simply all kinds of cool. An abundant pantry of farm-fresh fruit and veg, with a little Asian twist in each box? I mean, sign me up any day!
Ruzaiq did indeed sign me up, and soon a hefty box of rainbow produce landed on my doorstep. It was a very happy day!
Samu Chef (Cape Town) farms and delivers curated boxes containing vegetables, fruits and artisanal bread.
Our boxes are R680 (free delivery) and weigh about 25kg, they are healthy and wholesome, they always include some far East flavor and should complement meals for 5 people for about a week.
That’s a whole week of interesting and new flavors, all of which you can enjoy while knowing that you are helping small holding farmers, local businesses and all the people they employ to get your food from the farm to your door (https://www.samuchef.co.za/inside).
The box of abundance
I was simply gobsmacked as the courier lifted my Samu Chef box from his vehicle. It occupied more than half of my 1.8m dining room table, and when I finally managed to unpack everything, it consumed most of my lounge.
I couldn’t even get my act together to do my usual food-styling tricks, I was just simply so blown away by the vast amount of beautiful ingredients on my table. My mind was working overtime, making mental notes of dishes I wanted to create with the spread in front of me. I’ll be sure to include an image for scale when I order my next box!
It was bright, it was colourful, it was shiny and lush and ample. There was not a single piece of fruit or vegetable that was wilted, limp, squashed or bruised. I felt like a kid on Chrismas day, hurriedly tearing into the brown paper bags and squealing over handfuls of green beans, plump avocado’s, juicy red peppers and all the lemons my citrus heart could ever want.
My little Asian twist came in the shape of a fluffy pineapple bread bun, a rice dumpling and a selection of Asian greens. These included pak choi, baby chinese cabbage and water spinach, the latter both ingredients I’ve never had the pleasure of cooking with before.
It was probably my most memorable delivery to date. What made it even more spectacular, was the evident love and passion for the cause that went into packing each individual box.
What I made with it
To give you an idea of just how much fruit and veg you are getting for R680, I kept a running list of the meals I prepared and what I used in it. I probably forgot some meals, but your eyes are going to water at this!
A little note of advice – make sure you have ample fridge space before ordering your box!
Before we go any further, I have to point out that I shared my Samu Chef box equally with The Tall Hedonist‘s parents. The below list are the meals I made with our HALF of the box. Let that sink in for a minute!
|Chicken stir-fry with rice noodles (4 main meals)||Lemons, green beans, pak choi, carrots, spring onion, garlic|
|Green bean stew (4 main meals)||Green beans, potatoes, onion, tomato, garlic|
|Cabbage rolls with mince (4 main meals)||Green cabbage, chinese cabbage, onion, tomato, garlic|
|Breakfast smoothies (2 per day for 7 days)||Bananas, apples, pears, oranges|
|My favourite lunch, the whole entire week (open toasties)||Lettuce, avocado, tomato, spring onion|
|Guava and coconut dessert cake (8 servings)||Guavas|
|Eggplant lasagna (6 main meals)||Eggplant, tomato, garlic, onion, water spinach|
|Upside down pineapple cake (8 servings)||Pineapples, oranges|
|Poached pears in spice syrup (6 servings)||Pears, oranges, lemons|
|Sweet potato mash (4 servings)||Sweet potato, onion, potato|
|Side salads (6 servings)||Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, spring onion, red pepper|
|Roasted butternut (4 servings)||Butternut, garlic, spring onion|
|Savoury pancakes with roast veggies (4 main meals)||Butternut, red pepper, onion, garlic|
In these uncertain times we need to continue to buy, promote and support our local industries as much as possible. You are not just supporting a business, but a family behind it that has worked hard to create a living for themselves.
Samu Chef boxes ticks more than one giant fruit and veg box for me. It’s local, it’s fresh, it’s supporting an incredibly important plight and it’s refreshingly unique. I further love the idea of introducing people to more Asian flavours and what would be considered “fringe” foods, with the idea to inspire us to create and explore more in the kitchen.
And what the box also does, on top of the long list of merits I am awarding it – it encourages sharing. It reminds us to share when we have an abundance; it reminds us to cook meals and share food where we can. Joy shared is joy doubled. Samu Chef fresh produce boxes are double, no, triple amounts of joy!
Thank you Samu Chef, for this incredibly generous box. Thank you for working hard and tirelessly behind the scenes (and your masks!) to support our small farmers to showcase their produce and to continue earning income during this difficult time!
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.