Simple spiced chutneys date back to 500BC India. They were used as a way of preserving and extending the life of fruits and vegetables, matured in the sun for two weeks and kept for up to a year. Fast-forward over a thousand years, and sea-faring British explorers brought spices, chutneys and relishes to the UK from India in the 17th Century, making the foodstuffs available initially as an appetiser only available for the well-to-do. Chutneys started life in the UK as a luxury condiment.
Today, chutneys, relishes and jellies have taken on a more ‘rustic’ appeal in the UK, a vital part of barbeques, picnics, and laid-back dinners.
Chutneys, relishes and jellies are all excellent condiments made by combining various herbs, spices, aromatics, and adding fruits and vegetables alongside sugar and vinegar or juice. It’s all in the method that creates a wild deviation in textures and consistencies between chutneys, relishes and jellies:
Chutney: a thick, sticky mix of fruit and vegetables cooked with spices, sugar, and vinegar
Relish: a softer, condiment generally with larger, firmer chunks, with a tangy or zesty sauce
Jelly: soft, semi-set consistency packed full of flavour
All three are used to provide a flavour balance to an array of dishes – if you have a meal that’s yin, a chutney or relish is yang.
Chutneys, relishes, and jellies are three condiments that can go with just about anything. They can be as rustic or luxurious as you like, depending on how they’re paired: often eaten with hard cheese or with cold meats as part of a cold pub lunch, or lovingly spread atop warm cheese fresh from the oven as part of a rich dinner spread.
Jellies and chutneys often enjoy traditional pairings with cheeses and breads, while relishes – especially in the United States – have become a double act with burgers and hot dogs. But really, there’s nothing that can’t provide a delighted smile like that of a sweet/savoury condiment alongside our favourite hearty, comforting food.
The McGerty’s range celebrates condiments with bold flavours and textures:
Deliciously sweet and sticky, cutting through strong cheeses with its acidic tang.
Packed full of flavour and character, with spiced apples, apricots, dates, raisins, sultanas, ginger and onions. Adds excitement to any cheeseboard or cold cut selection.
Subtly spicy, glowing a fiery, flecked red, the perfect partner for when you want to liven up a lunchtime.
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