Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Southern Condiments

There is a South everywhere. And usually those Souths have flavors distinct to it’s culture. I remember chutney since I was a little kid. We didn’t eat it at our house, but I always saw it at the store and I think my grandfather ate it. As I got older, I remember seeing it at farmers markets, flea markets and anywhere handmade country crafts were sold. Chutney is probably something that has been prepared in southern kitchens forever. There is probably a type of chutney connected to the south. I don’t know much about it, I just remember seeing it around.

Chutney is originally from South Asia. It has made it’s way around the world bearing many different names. It’s called relish some places and it’s called salsa others. It is usually made to be eaten fresh using local ingredients. A chutney made in our South would have been prepared to be stored. Usually, fruit, sugar and vinegar are cooked down to a reduction.

I guess what I am trying to say is people are all the same. Everywhere. They just make their chutney a little different than you and me.

This is how Stacey does it. She uses Kumquat (usually JoAnn’s) . It is great with everything. Cheese, grilled meats, toasted breakfast breads. Hell, it probably tastes good on ice cream. Stacey took this photo of her latest batch of Kumquat and Jalapeno Chutney. Her recipe follows. I also found an article on Chutneys in the December Gourmet. On page 156 there is a recipe for a Kumquat Chutney made with ginger. We have been using ginger around this house a lot lately.


Yield - 2cups Long Shelf Life

1 1/4 pound Kumquats sliced 1/8″ thin (do not peel) (can take seeds out - I don’t)

1 Jalapeno - julienne

1/2 cup Rice Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup Sugar


Combine Vinegar and Sugar in a non-aluminum pan and bring to boil.

Bring to boil until all the vinegar has evaporated. Once the sugar begins to take on the slightest hint of brown, add the kumquats and jalapeno. Toss until kumquats begin to turn limp (about 3 to 5 minutes).

Season with salt (to taste. Allow to cool. Store in air tight container.

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