There are several different types of relishes (e.g. Chow-Chow, Piccalilli, Pickle Relish and Chutney) along with very gray lines in terms of distinguishing the differences between them.
Chow-Chow Relish typically includes green tomatoes, cabbage mustard seed or mustard powder, some type of hot pepper (even if mild) and other ingredients and is explained in detail at "What is Chow-Chow Relish?
Other types of relish are explained briefly here:
British Piccalilli typically includes cauliflower, mustard and turmeric along with other ingredients. Beans (e.g. green beans, lima beans, and kidney beans) are another common ingredient. Although cauliflower can be found in some Chow-Chows, it seems to be more of an optional ingredient. There is also an American version o f Picalilli, which typically includes finely chopped gherkins and is often associated with Chicago Style Hot Dogs. The food production brand, Crosse & Blackwell (since 1706) also indicates there is a Chow Chow Piccalilli, which is a “crunchy mustard and pickle relish originally developed by a famous 19th century British chef’.
Chutney originated from India and typically includes a chopped fruit or vegetable as the primary ingredient along with additional seasonings. What is the difference between Chutney and Chow-Chow? Crosse & Blackwell’s web site states that chutney is typically made with fruit, whereas relish is normally made with vegetables. According to Wikipedia; however, this interpretation is not exactly accurate since India produces Chutney (from the Hindu word catni) using fruits or vegetables. The one consistent difference seems to be that Chutneys have a spreadable consistency that is consistent to preserves, whereas Chow-Chow is chunky but, without the “spreadable” consistency. Perhaps, the answer lies with who you ask.
Pickle Relish is typically made with sweet pickles; however, you can find varieties that use dill pickles. Also, pickle relish is used very often on hot dogs and hamburgers.
Additional Types of Relish
Today, you will find many types of relish that are available commercially. Other types of relish include Artichoke Relish, Jalapeno Pepper Relish, Hot Pepper Relish (made with different types of peppers ranging from sweet to hot), Onion Relish, Zucchini Relish and Tomato Relish.
Not sure which Chow-Chow or other Relish is best for you? Visit our Chow-Chow and Relish Selection Guide. This guide describes the differences in color, texture and flavor for each Chow-Chow Relish. Also included are suggestions for pairing different types of relish with you next dish.