What Is Relish?

What Is Relish?

You’ve probably walked past relish a hundred times at the grocery store. It’s usually sold in jars with ‘sweet’ and ‘dill pickle’ on the label.

What Is Relish?

You might have even thrown it in your cart from time to time, placed a dollop of the stuff on top of a hamburger at a cookout, or even found an old forgotten-about jar in the back of your grandma’s refrigerator. 

But you’ve probably never stopped and thought about what actually goes into relish. It’s easy to just think of relish as a throw-away condiment that isn’t actually all that important, but today, we’re going to show you how wrong that is. 

This delicious condiment is destined for more than just burgers, and it deserves its chance to shine, so keep reading as we answer the question what is relish and demonstrate just how tasty it really is. 

What Is Relish? 

Relish is a kind of preserved condiment that consists of finely chopped fruits or vegetables and has a distinctive chunky texture. So unlike your typical sauce, you won’t be able to squeeze it out of a bottle.

But don’t worry, because dollops of this stuff are absolutely out of this world. And speaking of the world, relish is a recipe that is enjoyed across the globe, each country giving it its own unique spin. 

Typically, in the USA, the fruit or vegetable of choice for relish is pickles, though cucumbers (see also: Can You Freeze Cucumbers?)and sweet or dill pickles are popular choices too. Generally, it is used to add additional flavor and texture to dishes such as hot dogs, burgers, and sandwiches. 

However, in places such as the UK, a turmeric-spiced relish known as piccalilli is a crowd favorite. This relish contains cauliflower as its main ingredient along with a variety of others. It’s usually served alongside sausage, ham, or toast. 

And then in El Salvador, a relish called curtido is made from cabbage, carrots, and onions, while in Italy Mostarda is a fruity relish often served with rich and fatty meats. 

The one ingredient that links all of them together? Vinegar. Used to preserve the fruit or vegetable of choice, it also adds the iconic acidic flavor that relish is known for. 

Making Relish  

So, we’ve touched on this above, but now we’re going to really learn exactly what relish is made of and how to make it. And ultimately, any relish boils down to three main ingredients; the produce (fruit or vegetable,) vinegar, and sugar. 

Of course, you can add a few extra ingredients to give it more flavor if you wish such as spices like mustard or mayonnaise. 

When it comes to picking your produce, it really can be pretty much anything. We recommend opting for whichever fruits or vegetables are currently in season.

When you’ve selected your favorite five-a-day item, you’ll then want to chop it up into small pieces and then bring sugar and vinegar to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved you can add your produce and any spices you want to use to make it taste great. 

Don’t worry if that was a little too brief for you, below you can find several delicious recipes to try. 

What Does Relish Taste Like? 

What Is Relish?

This is quite a hard question to answer. As you have learned throughout this article, relish can come in a whole host of different flavors and no two taste exactly alike.

All relishes should share some qualities though, they should all be very fresh and quite tangy. They all also tend to be rich in flavor and have that acidic aftertaste. 

However, everything else can change from relish to relish. Some will be super spicy and others incredibly sweet. Some might be slightly soft and others super crunchy. 

What’s The Difference Between Relish And Chutney? 

This is a question that many people don’t really know the answer to. And we can definitely understand why as they are similar in many different aspects.

Both are made from some form of fruit or vegetable, and both also share similar ingredients such as sugar, vinegar, and spices. 

The main difference is in the way they are prepared. 

A relish will usually be cooked in vinegar using a method that allows it to maintain that chunky crunchy texture. Chutney, however, is cooked much slower.

The process of chutney cooking involves letting the ingredients cook down until they become soft and somewhat soggy. 

So, I guess you could also say that the main difference is their texture. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Relish Healthy? 

Though it is made of vegetables, relishes technically aren’t all that healthy, especially not in large portions. This is because although it is low in fat and calories it is very high in sugar and sodium. 

Is Relish Vegan? 

Depending on your stance on sugar, relish can be vegan. Most store brands do not use non-vegan products, though you will still want to check the labels as some relishes may contain honey. 

Is Relish Gluten-Free? 

Yes, most relishes will not use any ingredients that include gluten. With that being said you should always read the labels before purchasing any given relish as recipes can differ from brand to brand and flavor to flavor. 

Final Thoughts

Relish goes great with many different things, it adds a unique burst of flavor and a fantastic crunchy texture. And the beauty of it is, no matter what vegetables you prefer, there will be an option for you.

There are so many different options out there, from pickle to cucumber to tomato to cauliflower. 

So, whether you opt to create your very own homemade recipes from the links provided here today, or decide to grab a few different flavors from your local grocery store, be sure to give relish a try today. 

I promise you this underrated condiment is one of the best there is. 

Homemade Sweet Relish Recipe • Great Condiment to Make! - Episode 430