Thursday, February 09, 2006

whatever you eat, eat it with relish

Ever get a little piece of heaven in the mail? That's what happened to me this past Monday when adorable expat hippo_pepperpot (thanks again!) sent me not one but two lovely squeeze bottles if this stuff all the way from England.

What is it, you ask? It's Branston Pickle, the greatest thing since sliced bread. Branston Pickle is what I would call a relish. It's not much to look at, kind of brown and sticky and lumpy, actually, but the flavour is out of this world. Hey, even Catherine Zeta-Jones and Naomi Campbell love the stuff which is sometimes served as part of a 'ploughman's lunch' - a cold meal of bread, cheese and pickle often available in British pubs.

Mmm...just look at what's in there: onions, carrots, rutabagas, cauliflower, squash, gherkins, dates, apples, garlic, vinegar and the list goes on... It's sweet and sour and crunchy and tangy and oniony all at the same time and tastes divine spread on a sandwich. Which is where I'm going to spread it in a minute because it's almost lunch time. I can hardly wait.

So I guess you could say that today's sandwich will be eaten with relish. And relish.


At February 09, 2006 12:42 p.m., Blogger Betty said...

Ohhh do they have that in the U.S.? I'm trying out being a vegetarian since I ate at a fulltime vegetarian's house and learned how delicious the food was. This would fit right in.

At February 09, 2006 12:45 p.m., Blogger christina said...

I'm not sure if they have it - probably only at specialty stores. It does look like it's totally vegetarian, but it doesn't say so on the bottle. Really low fat too.

At February 09, 2006 12:53 p.m., Blogger swissmiss said...

I've heard of Branston pickle but somehow always thought it was a brand of small sliced pickles. Now I know! And before I made some horrible mistake, too. Yay.

At February 09, 2006 12:55 p.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Awwww....wait for me, I'm jumping in an ICE to Hannover...come and pick me up with the relish sandwich, would ya? *droooooools*

At February 09, 2006 1:25 p.m., Blogger christina said...

swissmiss - I'd been hearing about it for ages too but the first time I had it was a couple of years ago when an English friend brought me some after a trip home. Yum!

Elemm OK, what time will you be here? :-) You could probably get it in Munich in one of those British shops, but don't ask me where.

At February 09, 2006 1:30 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

That sounds very yummy. Will try to find it, maybe a in special shop. Otherwise, I'm sur I can get my previous boss - who's now back in the UK - to send me some.

At February 09, 2006 1:51 p.m., Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Interesting. Does it taste anything like the Indian pickles (i.e., mango pickle, etc. -- aka, "achar")?

Which reminds me. One of these days, I must try that HP Sauce. Those Brits sure have a lot of mysterious condiments.

At February 09, 2006 2:28 p.m., Blogger Sandra said...

Is it like a chutney?

I saw some of this when I was traveling and I almost bought it because it's so famous. I really wish now that I had bought some.

At February 09, 2006 3:04 p.m., Blogger Betty said...

I followed your links and learned not only about ploghman's lunch but also about rocket salad! This all sounds so good. I get tired of the same veggies everyday.

At February 09, 2006 3:39 p.m., Blogger Léons Life said...

So does that come it a squeezy bottle like a ketchup bottle ?

Does this mean that my Mum and Dad
can bring this in their luggage when they fly here in a few weeks ?

Oh I hope so. Nothing tastier than a toasted cheese and ham sandwich with Branston Pickle.

At February 09, 2006 4:21 p.m., Blogger mar said...

Never heard of it (well, I have never been to England) but it sounds very good! I am hungry now and it is in between meals!

At February 09, 2006 5:10 p.m., Blogger woman wandering said...

Drool ... I've never had it but keep threatening to make 'Nana's Yummy Pickle'.

Unfortunately the 'yummy' element is in doubt since I revealed my love of Vegemite and Alison gifted me a jar she found at her special British Store over near Brussels.

Hmmm British guest coming next month ... perhaps I too shall try it. :)

At February 09, 2006 5:49 p.m., Blogger Haddock said...

I haven't had Branstons Pickle in years. It's lovely stuff (only surpased by Mr Haddocks homemade chilli chutney!)
Hope you enjoyed your lunch!

At February 09, 2006 6:29 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

That does sound like a good addition to a sandwich. Too bad I won't be finding it out here in Vancouver. I'll just have to pretend I can taste how sweet it is..

At February 09, 2006 7:28 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

All those ingredients are right up my alley. Don't forget that when I come visit you!

At February 09, 2006 8:30 p.m., Blogger christina said...

canadianswiss - If you have any British specialty shops near you, they're sure to have it, and it's availabe from various places online. I just never looked that hard. :-)

Sal - I've never tasted achar before so I don't really know, however I suspect mango pickle and the like would tast a bit 'fresher' and more fruity than this relish.

HP sauce is really great! - a must to try some time. White bread, bacon, HP sauce - there you go.

Sandra - It's similar to chutney, but more sour with only a hint of fruit and not as many aromatic spices. Kind of like a really tangy, spicy hot dog or hamburger relish without the cucumber taste, if that makes any sense.

Betty - you can invite your friends over for lunch and just wow them. Rocket is really nice - great mustardy flavour. I did a post on it back in November when I made pasta sauce with it and it was so good.

leon's life - Yes! A squeeze bottle just like ketchup. Way lighter and more convenient that the glass jar. You'll have to ask hippo which supermarket she got it at so your parents can stock up.

mar - I think you'd like it. It peps up just about everything

wandering woman -
I have never warmed up to either Vegemite or Marmite but my mum ADORES both and used to torture us kids by eating it in front of us. I guess you either love it or you hate it. :-)Nana's Yummy Pickle sounds wonderful. Do post the recipe if you decide to make it.

haddock - It's great stuff, isn't it? Although I'm sure your chutney is fantastic too.

Expat - I'm pretty sure you could get it somewhere in Vancouver because you can get almost anything in Vancouver, including tons of British products :-) It's made by either Cross and Blackwell or Nestle and I know both of those brands are represented in larger grocery stores.

Ginnie - I'll sure *try* to save some for ya, but I can't promise anything! :-)

At February 09, 2006 11:17 p.m., Blogger Lisa said...

You're a good woman and a sweetheart so I must take your word for it, but I'm looking at that picture sideways because truthfully, it looks like poop in a jar. The word "chunk" in the description doesn't help either.

At February 09, 2006 11:46 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Lisa - LOL!! Yeah, it looks pretty awful but trust me, it really does taste good.

At February 10, 2006 12:18 a.m., Blogger Angie said...

But the real question -- how does it taste on haggis?

At February 10, 2006 12:21 a.m., Blogger Ms Mac said...

Oooooh! I love Branston Pickle and I especially love a Ploughman's Lunch!

Gahhhh! I'm homesick now!

At February 10, 2006 12:28 a.m., Blogger Cathy said...

To each her won, but this sounds really yuck! :)

At February 10, 2006 12:46 a.m., Blogger Nyana said...

Mmmm... Looks good. That stuff goes really well with some cream cheese and a skinny slice of cucumber. What can I say, enjoy!

At February 10, 2006 12:53 a.m., Blogger Dixie said...

Few things are better than those little packages from friends and family with the yummy things we love to eat but can't get here.

I know I go into a squealing fit when I open a box and find Hellmann's mayonnaise in it.

At February 10, 2006 11:59 a.m., Blogger Alison said...

Never had branston pickle but I'm pretty sure you can get it at the British store here. My father LOVES HP sauce and buts it on everything. We've had it in Canada (at least on the east coast) forever. Now there are new weird flavors.

At February 10, 2006 1:32 p.m., Blogger GC PHILO said...

To be honest, I'm not that big of a fan of British food. Not in the least! But that does sound good... Relish the relish!

At February 10, 2006 1:48 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Angie - I'm really hoping to never find that out. Why don't you be our guinea pig? :-)

Ms. Mac - Aww,you can make your own! There are recipes floating around out there on the web.

Cathy - if you like Bick's hamburger relish you'd like this. Really.

Nyana - Cream cheese would be great. It goes well with pretty much everything, actually.

Dixie - I know! It's the little things in life, isn't it?

Alison -We always had HP sauce as well when I was growing up. Seems to be a lot of British food in Canada.

Philo - I think it depends what kind of British food you've had. Some of it is just lovely and I can't figure out why it has such a bad reputation.

At February 10, 2006 2:30 p.m., Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. That's the list. Period. :)

At February 10, 2006 4:53 p.m., Blogger hippo_pepperpot said...

he he he... glad you got to eat some... I think I got it at Tesco... or Asda. I'm sure you can get it at a specialty shop... my hubby did when we lived in the states. I first tried it in an English pub back home. A Scotch egg w/ pickle and some carrot slices... yum! HP...that stuff is just loverly. I make my family a full English every Saturday morning... the works! Beans, mushrooms, tomato, eggs, bacon, sausage, and toast... with HP. Yum! My hubby loves marmite... I use it in cooking.

At February 10, 2006 5:07 p.m., Anonymous lydia said...

ooh i love branston pickle but its got to be BIG chunks, love it with cheese. i miss cheese from england, german stuff just isn't the same :(

At February 10, 2006 11:21 p.m., Blogger christina said...

mr fabulous - Sounds like you need to expand your horizons. Go straight to the Piggly Wiggly and see what else they have. :-)

hippo - Mmmm...the full English sounds great. Yeah, some people just adore Marmite. I haven't tried it in years. Who knows, I might even like it now.

Lydia - The first time I had it was the large chunk, but I like both versions. English cheese is so great. It's hard to hunt it down here.

At February 15, 2006 2:32 p.m., Blogger marty said...

Take a look at my blog about Ploughman's Lunch. I found an exempliary Ploughman's in the Lake District:


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