The most common relish in our lives is pickle relish. But is all relish made from pickles? Are there other varieties out there?
The Short Answer:
Pickle relish is just one of many different varieties of relish.
The Long Answer:
We all know relish as a chopped-up savory or sweet spread that goes great on hot dogs in the summer. But did you know that there are other forms of relish aside from pickle relish? Clearly, you didn’t, or you would not have clicked on this article!
So, here’s where it gets confusing. Most relishes are pickled, but not all relishes are made from pickles.
What we refer to as “pickles” are actually pickled cucumbers. To pickle a food, you have to either ferment it in brine or immerse it in vinegar for a period of time. This process preserves the food and extends its lifespan. Pickling will fundamentally alter a food’s texture or flavor. To get a sense of by how much, compare the taste of a cucumber to the taste of a pickle.
Relish is a pickled or cooked product that is composed of chopped up fruits, vegetables, or herbs. Relishes are not a meal on their own, but typically a condiment used to enhance a stable food like turkey or hot dogs.
It is believed that relish came from India originally. It is likely that Europeans began making relish due to the need for preserving vegetables throughout the winter.
Some common relishes include mango pickle relish, chutney, salsa, pear relish, and more.
People in the U.S. typically associate relish with pickle relish, because it is one of the most commonly used spreads in the country. There is such a thing as hamburger relish, which is pickle relish mixed with a ketchup base. You can also purchase hot dog relish, which is pickle relish mixed with a mustard base.
Two other common relishes in the U.S. are corn relish and cranberry relish. Cranberry relish is typically served alongside Thanksgiving dinners, topping turkey.
What is your favorite relish? Do you enjoy any other kind besides pickle relish? Have you ever prepared relish yourself? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know!