That humble little glass container might look ordinary to you, Dear Readers.
But to me, it’s heaven in a jar.
That’s because it contains ambrosia- nectar of the gods.
AKA the chow chow relish at the Surfside Diner in Palm Beach.
I love this stuff. When I’m lucky enough to find it, I eat it on hamburgers, hot dogs, eggs…anything I can lay my hands on.
In fact, I’ll eat it straight from the little glass jar if need be.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “relish” as: “Characteristic flavor; especially pleasing or zestful flavor.” Enjoyment of or delight in something that satisfies one’s tastes, inclinations, or desires. A condiment (as of pickles or green tomatoes) eaten with other food to add flavor.”
That sums it up for me. Whether it’s a noun or a verb, I am just nuts about relish.
Palm Beach might serve up its own brand of Southern Creole magic, but my hometown, Chicago, is no slouch when it comes to the relish department.
In fact, the city’s trademark one comes in neon green.
It practically glows in the dark.
You can’t have an authentic Chicago dog without this. Yum. (And it does wonders for tuna salad.)
The Midwest chain of Steak ‘n Shake has seen better days. I used to be a BIG fan but I think they have gone downhill. But I am still crazy about their mustard/relish spread. And oh, their pickle!
And speaking of pickles, Bubbie’s does wild and wonderful things with them.
Although talented Bubbie preserves everything from horseradish to sauerkraut, I am never without a jar of her bread and butter pickles in my fridge.
Mazel Tov, Bubbie!
But let’s not forget our gifted fratelli italiani.
They have their own version of relish. It’s called giardiniera. Chicago’s favorite go-to with Italian Beef sandwiches.
Mr. Beef on Orleans has fabulous, fresh giardiniera. It’s to die for.
I couldn’t eat this sandwich without it.
And Hungarian Tony Packo also knows his way around a canning jar.
But my taste for relish does not end with the pickle and pepper kind.
I also love olives.
Most anything can be perked up with the addition of a fine layer of this.
It does wonders for a run-of-the-mill turkey sandwich.
So many relishes. So little time.
And SOS to all my friends in Palm Beach this winter….
You know what would be a real thoughtful early birthday present?
Think about visiting the Surfside before you head north.
You’ll know what to do.
See you next on Sunday, February 26, Dear Readers.
Now here’s a clip from a wonderful movie to hold me until my chow chow arrives.