Build Zambia, Buy Zambian

Written By: The Lowdown - Jul• 01•00

Taking a look at our Zambian  products.

This month: Rivonia Quality Preserves

Rivonia Quality Preserves says the label on the bottle, and when you open it, you know that it is not just idle chatter – inside is a top quality product.

Rivonia was started as a home industry in 1978 by the Late Bill Colton, husband and father of the current owners. The first products were tomato sauce and the tasty Green Tomato Chutney (which you have probably had on your steaks at Mr Pete’s Restaurant). As the business grew, they diversified into chilli products (sauce and chutney), other chutneys, different sauces (including Worcestershire and soy), jams, jellies, marmalades and pickles, with vinegar and bottled water being the latest additions to their product range. Made from fresh fruit and vegetables, with only minimal preservatives (one part per million) and no colourants added, all their products are delicious with excellent shelf lives.

Over the years, we have had guests from outside of Zambia stay with us, they have tasted the products and most have refused to leave without a good supply of different products, but the green tomato chutney and fruit chutney remain the favourites.

I use many Rivonia products for cooking, always with good result. I think the best of my recipes (which is also very quick and easy) is Tangy Chicken. Mix 2 cups mayonnaise and 2 cups of chutney together, pour it over 1 kg chicken pieces, place it in the oven for about 1½ hours or in the microwave for 30 minutes and serve. My favourite chutneys for this recipe are green tomato or fruit chutney, but I have on occasion used others, with equally good results.

Another favourite is Shin Casserole. Take 1 kg shin; cover it with a mixture of tomato sauce, chopped onions, salt and pepper. Place this in the oven, cook at a medium temperature for about two hours, or until the shin is tender. I am sure you can use chilli sauce or a mixture of chilli and tomato sauces for this as well.

Whilst other Zambian manufacturers have been unable to compete with imported products, Rivonia have worked hard at keeping their products on the shelves at a competitive price and have continued to improve their products, including their labels, which are now attractive and colourful. This has not been easy, especially where for many, price not quality is the criteria of whether to buy a product or not.

I think that their best recommendation came from a three year old child, who, when presented with another brand of tomato sauce refused to have any food because it was ‘not Rivonia Tomato Sauce’!

Rivonia products are available in all major and most small supermarkets.



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