Provender Brown Perth Deli

The Difference Between Chutney, Relish and Pickles

All taste great on cheese and biscuits but what is the difference between chutney, relish and pickles? We find out!

“What's the difference between relish, chutney and pickle?”

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that we are asked this question on a regular basis, and it's sometimes one we struggle to answer! Over the years we’ve come to realise it’s not that people have a particular preference but when faced with the vast array of Provender Brown’s savoury condiments, curiosity becomes piqued!

And whilst many think the words are simply interchangeable descriptions for what is essentially the same delicious accompaniment, we’re here to tell you otherwise. It’s true that chutney, relish and pickles are all processes used to preserve perishable fruits and vegetables but there are some distinctive differences.

One obvious example is Mango chutney V Mango Pickle. Mango Chutney is made from ripe or overripe mangoes, while mango pickle is made from underripe hard green mango – both are delicious with a Praveen Kumar Frozen Curry though!

Why have these condiments become so conflated over the years? We blame a very famous brown chutney often found in supermarkets. The makers of Branston call it ‘pickle’, but the truth is it’s closer to a chutney. 


The origins of Chutney, Relish and Pickle

Chutney traces its origins back to India and is thought to have been used more than 1500 years ago. The British adapted it during colonial times, bringing it back to the UK and other commonwealth countries.

Pickles started more than 4,000 years ago, when ancient Mesopotamians began soaking cucumbers in acidic brine, as a way to preserve them. Since then, they have been a staple in cultures around the globe.

Whilst some argue that relish originated in England much of the evidence points to the sweet, slightly piquant condiment being the invention of H. J. Heinz in 1889 – and therefore American in its origins.

There is so much in the way of conflicting information on this subject that we decided to go straight to the experts, and called our friends at Tracklements. Tracklements have been with us since we opened our doors in 2005 and we consider them masters of their craft.

What is a Relish?

Relishes have a shorter cooking time to retain the original taste of whatever fruit or vegetable has been used to create it. Made to be used in generous dollops rather than small quantities.

What is Chutney?

Chutneys have a deep, intense flavour thanks to the slow and gentle cooking method used to create them. Whilst they are most commonly paired with cheeses, a spoonful of chutney can transform stews, curries and sandwiches.

 Find out how Tracklement's make their chutneys here: 

What is Pickle?

Pickles are the heritage of all things preserved, and they now take the form of something truly delicious with a good crunch and bite that invigorates the palate. Typically used to liven up cold food & snacks, from sandwiches to pork pies.

When should I use chutney V relish V pickle?

Shall we let you in on a secret? It doesn’t really matter!

Once you know what you like in terms of flavour, consistency, and texture, you can switch up your chutney, relish and pickle to suit your mood. As lovers of all things foodie we have made it our business to become experts in toppings and accompaniments and we can confirm that a dollop of Geeta's Premium Lime and Chilli Chutney is every bit as delicious on a sourdough cracker with Black Bomber cheese as it is on the side of Praveen Kumar’s Vegetable Pakora.

But should you feel like a change, both are also excellent with Caramelised Onion Chutney!

Provender Brown’s Perfect Pairings

Whilst nothing beats chutney, pickle or relish with a hunk of cheese and a packet (yes, a full packet!) of crackers, Tracklements have created some inspirational pairings to liven up your lunch and brighten your mid-week dinners.