What is Branston Pickle you might ask? Only one of the greatest condiments to come out of a jar, that's what. After acquiring the taste for cheese and Branston pickle sandwiches while studying abroad in college, I'm officially an evangelist for how great this sweet and tangy chutney is on practically everything.
There's nothing quite like Branston Pickle in the mainstream American market. Darkly colored, sweet and spicy, the snack is a jarred chutney made from a variety of pickled vegetables diced very small. Swede (rutabaga), carrots, onions, cauliflower, and gherkins swim in thick sauce made of tomato, vinegar, dates, spices, and sugar. The result is a savory condiment that gives recipes a depth of flavor much the way worcester sauce does.
Most commonly seen in a Ploughman's Lunch, Branston Pickle is also featured in the oh-so simple cheese and pickle sandwich: BP spread between two slices of bread with sharp cheddar cheese. It's a satisfying lunch, made even better when adapted to an American style grilled cheese sandwich. Just imagine gooey, savory chutney oozing alongside cheddar inside crispy, buttered bread. YUM.
The condiment's delicious umami also works brilliantly as a supporting role in all sorts of dishes. Acting as a substitute for ketchup or pickle relish, I've found it to transform anything from tuna salad to meatloaf to baked potatoes.
Luckily, Branston Pickle is becoming easier to find, allowing it to become a staple of my kitchen. I've recently spotted it at specialty food shops as well as stores like World Market that carry a small international food selection.
Have you tried Branston Pickle? How do you like to use it?