There are many different opinions on this question, and many kinds of reasons for the different opinions. We have read everything we can on the subject and decided for ourselves that our relish is a savoury, mostly, but not always, vegetable based preserve that does not have dominant sweetness, but rather more complex sweet/sour combined with other flavour profiles. Its texture is chunky with produce although smooth enough to spread. Chutney, for us, always contains fruit, even if it is not fruit based. Therefore, chutney has a predominantly sweet flavour profile. It usually has a ‘heavier’ texture than relish. Pickles, according to us, are mostly vegetable (lime pickles being an obvious and delicious exception) and are usually highly acid with a dominant sour flavour profile. Pickles can be spreadable having a light ‘sauce’, but are often bottled in clear, spiced vinegar which can be tipped off and used in cooking and salad dressings.
Our products are artisan made rather than mass produced. Mass produced products are made to be consistent, not only with every item made, but with the type of machinery being used to make them. Our products are made by human hands in small batches with produce that has been grown locally. Just as wines that have the same ingredients vary according to the conditions of the seasons in which the fruit grows, our relishes vary in colour, sometimes texture, and even a little in flavour according to how much rain there has been, what side of the paddock they are grown in or when they are harvested, for a few examples. They also vary because, unlike mass produced products, we adjust the amount of sugar we add according to how sweet the produce is naturally. We try to add as little as possible but still maintain fundamental consistency of flavour – we also need to add some sugar to support natural preservation of our products.
We only use locally grown produce for our products and we only use those products when they are in season. We make as many jars of our varieties as we can while the bounty of the season allows, but when they are gone, they are gone until the next season. Needless to say, we are very busy making in the summer and autumn months. In the winter, we usually only have the lemon pepper relish to make because that is when the lemons are in season. Consequently, we often run out of lemon pepper first, not only because it is popular, but because its season isn’t consistent with our other products. It’s a little like a winery making olive oil in the off season.
A lid is over tight because of the natural vacuum seal produced during our bottling process. It’s actually a good thing that protects the product and supports a long shelf life. It can be frustrating when you’re dying to get into your relish though! We use a rubber strap wrench which is available in the plumbing supplies of hardware stores which is fail safe. The best way other than that is to run the lid of the jar under very hot water for about 30 seconds and then try. Please don’t ‘tap’ the lid of the jar on benchtops or ‘whack’ the lid with a spoon handle. We would hate for any damage done to the glass or lid to become dangerous to you.
Relishes are traditionally used to compliment main dishes. They provide flavour and texture contrast as well as spicing up plain food or ‘cooling down’ spicy food. There is, however, truly no end to their uses. They can be used as an ingredient in soups, pasta, stews, quiches, gravies, sauces or anything. They can be eaten as part of a cheese and/or charcuterie board. Many people put them on biscuits and eat them on their own. We can’t eat sandwiches without relish and when we go to a café for breakfast and they give us tomato sauce rather than relish with our eggs we never go back. Same with burgers.
Don’t eat it! Just let us know and we’ll replace it. We check the seal on all our products regularly, and we will never send a product out with a broken seal, so it’s unlikely to be dangerous to eat, but it’s not worth taking chances.
Our relishes have been made to the highest food safety standards and, as a food product category, low Ph products such as relishes, are very low risk. We put a ‘best before’ date of 12 months after manufacture if kept in a cool (less than 16 degrees C), dark place unopened on our relishes which is very, very safe. When they are opened, they need to be popped into the fridge at 5 degrees Celsius where they can be safely kept for a month in a clean jar.
Ours is a premium product that is not of the same kind as those bought in supermarkets or in farmer’s markets. It can’t be compared with mass produced relishes, but nor can it be compared with relishes that are made as hobbies or to make some pocket money. Our products comply with food safety, labelling and every other kind of relevant law while still being made from authentic heritage recipes and fresh local produce.
We may enter into partnership with some appropriate retail outlets in the future, but for now we want to be responsible for our customer’s experience and to do everything we can to make sure that it is a good one.
We want to say ‘3 working days at most’, but we are at the mercy of our couriers. We are doing our best to find the right courier to deliver to you at the right time at the right price.