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© Denzil Green

A Relish generally used to be a pungent, tangy, chunky pickled condiment served in small dishes, of which you placed a bit at the side of your plate to add zip to a meal, especially anything your mother had cooked.

It is both spoonable and spreadable, finely or coarsely chopped, with a bit of liquid in it. It is not a purée -- no matter how finely it is chopped, you can see each piece in it. Nor is it meant to be poured like a sauce.

The United States Department of Agriculture uses this definition: "Relishes are made from chopped fruits and vegetables that are cooked with seasonings and vinegar." [1]

It has come to mean a lot more, though. Relishes can be sweet or tangy or both. And probably more relish is put on hot-dogs and hamburgers than now reaches the side of plates.

Literature & Lore

"Now I begin to Relish thy advice." -- Shakespeare.


[1] United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2009. Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. Available at: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html (Accessed January 2015). Page 1-27.


Achar; Chow-Chow; Chutney; Gentleman's Relish; Hot Dog Relish; Kasundi; Piccalilli Relish; Piccalilli (American); Relish Trays; Relish; Sweet Pickle Relish; Yuzu Kosho

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Oulton, Randal. "Relish." CooksInfo.com. Published 13 October 2003; revised 14 May 2007. Web. Accessed 04/21/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/relish>.

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