Perfectly Practical #168 - Types of Condiments

Summer and autumn are prime canning time.

It's always good to know what to call your concoction after you've spent the time making and canning it.

All shelf-stable preserved food has to have a certain amount of salt, sugar, and/or vinegar in it to not grow mold, bacteria, and other nasties.

Dependent upon the sugar/vinegar content, items can be in multiple categories.

Here's a quick guide:

Sweet - Mostly used on breads (toast, poundcake, etc.) or dairy (ice cream, yogurt, etc.)

Jelly - Clear and gelatinous
Jam - Mushed up fruit (in between a jelly and a preserve)
Preserve - Whole fruit intact in syrup
Conserve - Whole fruit intact in an alcohol laced syrup
Syrup - Fruit has been strained out leaving thinnish liquid
Sauce - Generally pureed fruit (as in applesauce)
Butter - Pureed fruits usually with spices and cooked down by about half

Sweet & Sour -  Usually served with savory items like cheese, chips, beans, etc.

Chutney - Chunky condiment often using dried fruits as well as fresh fruits and/or vegetables with warm spices that has been cooked down until it is fairly thick
Relish - Chunky condiment not cooked down as much as a chutney
Salsa - Mix of chunky fruits/vegetables not cooked down
Pickle - Fruit or vegetables can be used preserved with sugar and vinegar
Ketchup - A usually tomato based sauce that has been cooked down a good bit with spices

Sour/Savory -  To be used as an accompaniment with a meal or as a dip

Pickle - Vegetables that have been preserved with salt and/or vinegar
Sauce - Generally pureed vegetables (as in hotsauce)

Some things will defy all reason and be called the wrong thing.
Like pepper jelly.
So many times I have seen it in store or made it myself from a recipe calling it a jelly when it is not strained enough and has bits of peppers in it making it more of a jam.
Life's too short to be hung up on whether it is a chutney or a relish, a jelly or a jam.  Once it's on my peas, it no longer matters.  ;)

This is part of Works for Me.


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