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Two open, typically English sandwiches (left: turkey and bacon with tomato and chilli relish; right: venison ham and cornichon with dill relish)

Relish [ ˈrelɪʃ ] ( listening ? / I ; English for “spicy sauce”, plural in German and English “relishes”, listening ? / I ) is a generic term for different, mostly sweet and sour, chunky to creamy purees made from marinated fruit or vegetables . They are traditionally used cold for seasoning in English cuisine . Audio file / audio sample Audio file / audio sample

Origin and Distribution

Alexis Soyer, the longtime court chef to Queen Victoria of Great Britain

Relishes are originally based on the recipes for various sauces in Indian cuisine and found their way into colonial English cuisine in combination with curries at the time of the British Raj . The eight cookbooks by the French- born Victorian court chef Alexis Soyer (1810–1858) in London , who from 1840 developed various recipes for relishes, were largely responsible for this. Etymologically , the term is derived from the Old French word relaissier for "taste".

In the UK, relishes are available in supermarkets and discounters as ready-made products , while outside the country these are classified as delicatessen . The 1814 in Hamburg as grocery trade based company "LWC Michelsen" offers 12 varieties Relishes for the German market. The American food manufacturer Heinz sells a cucumber dill and a sweet relish made from cucumber, corn syrup and red peppercorns for the Anglo-Saxon market .

In North America , various different types of sauces, such as tartare sauce, are known under the term "relish", which are not seasoning purees based on fruit and vegetables and which are mainly used in the production of hamburgers and hot dogs .

Ingredients, uses and variants

Opened Plowman's sandwich with cheddar, lettuce and a side dish of crackers
Sandwich with Gentleman's Relish

The umbrella term “relish” encompasses a large number of different seasoning sauces, which can differ considerably in terms of ingredients, consistency and taste.

Classical Relishes are (for example, finely diced fruit mango with horseradish and lime or apple with ginger and parsley ) or vegetables (such as cucumber , mustard and dill or sweet peppers with chili and onions produced) by them with vinegar , spices , herbs and sugar boiled and when cooled they produce mild, sweet-sour or spicy purees, the consistency of which can be like jam or more liquid. Such relishes are always used cold as a flavoring spread for making sandwiches in the UK , as a dip for crudités or as a flavoring side dish for pies and (cold) meat and fish dishes.

Mild and fruity relishes such as Branston Pickle are either served in a small bowl with Plowman's Lunch or used as a spread for the Cheddar when making “Plowman's Sandwiches” .

A special, non- vegetarian variant of a relish is the Gentleman's Relish , a paste developed by John Osborn in 1828 from anchovies without fruit and vegetables, which is also used to make sandwiches or to refine scrambled eggs . It is similar to the anchovy paste from a tube that is widely used in northern Germany and Scandinavia .


The episode The corpse is hot (in the original Sauce for the Goose ; an ambiguous title that can mean both sauce for roast goose and the first part of the adage "What is right for one, [is cheap for another]") of the Inspector crime series Barnaby from 2005 is about several murders in a factory of a (fictional) famous relish called "Plummer's" in England . In the course of the film, in addition to the actual plot, the production and filling process of a classic British relish based on tomatoes are shown .

similar products


  • Ruth Brandon: The People's Chef: Alexis Soyer, A Life in Seven Courses , London 2004, ISBN 0-470-86991-7 .
  • Ruth Cowen: Relish: The Extraordinary Life of Alexis Soyer, Victorian Celebrity Chef , London 2006, ISBN 0-297-64562-5 .
  • Sarah Freeman: Mutton & Oysters - The Victorians and their food . London 1989, ISBN 0-575-03151-4

Web links

Commons : Relish  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Relish  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Udo Pini : The Gourmet Handbook , page 797f., Könemann-Verlag, 2004. ISBN 978-3-8290-1443-4 .
  2. ^ A b Alan Eaton Davidson : The Oxford Companion to Food. 2nd edition (edited by Tom Jaine). Oxford University Press , Oxford 2006, ISBN 0-19-280681-5 .
  3. Ruth Cowen: Relish: The Extraordinary Life of Alexis Soyer, Victorian Celebrity Chef. Orion Books, 2006. ISBN 978-0-297-64562-7 .
  4. Better Homes and Gardens (Ed.): Supermarket Shortcuts: Shop Smart! 365 Recipes to Save Time and Money. John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2009. ISBN 978-0-470-50068-2 .
  5. ^ Homepage on Relishes from Michelsen, accessed on January 26, 2017.
  6. Heinz company homepage on their relishes, accessed on January 27, 2017.
  7. ^ Robert L. Wolke: What Einstein Told His Cook. WW Norton & Company, New York , p. 102. ISBN 978-0-393-32942-1 .
  8. ^ National Trust (Ed.): Gentleman's Relish: A Compendium of English Culinary Oddities and other English Culinary Oddities. A gourmet's guide. ISBN 978-1-905400-55-3 .
  9. ^ Entry in the Internet Movie Database for the episode “Sauce for the Goose”.