in praise of piccalilli.
It takes me a while to warm up to certain foods over on this side of the pond. Some I find myself falling in love with immediately and thus overindulging to the point of not wanting to eat it for another year, as is the case with chicken tikka sandwiches from O'Briens sandwich shop, pickled onion crisps and anything tasting of blackcurrant. Other times I look at items in the grocery store and think to myself that I don't really need to try them, that my life is not in any way, shape or form lacking because I have never sampled pork pies, sausage rolls or in this case, piccalilli. I could take or leave porkie pies and sausage rolls but piccalilli is now finding its way into a permanent nook on my refrigerator door.
In short piccalilli is basically mustard with diced cauliflower, gherkins and sometimes green beans, mixed with turmeric (for the bright yellow goodness) and ginger. My first sampling of piccalilli was last month, at our local food festival. Stephen and I were happily sampling our wee hearts out with the likes of all the local wines, ciders, cheeses and chutneys when I stumbled across a chilli-enhanced piccalilli from the Chili Jam Company, Picca-chilli-lilli.
It was absolutely wonderful, just the right blend of tangy and spicy with a bit of sweet as well. I slathered it on baguettes with nothing else but some german salami and mature cheddar. I'm wondering if Stephen even saw any of that jar. I somehow doubt it.
My local Sainsbury's had very few piccalillis to choose from and they all seemed rather average. I bought some of their own and found it to be completely satisfactory for my everyday needs, ie as a substitute for mere mustard on sandwiches or on a nice slice of ham with a Ploughman's lunch. I think we all know that it's not going to end here. No, it won't end until I find my ultimate everyday piccalilli, one that costs more than 41p per jar. Any suggestions would be most welcome.