Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 16, 2008 10:51 AM

Piccalilli Relish

Does anyone have a heirloom recipe for this. I was just having a fresh burger from the grill and all of the sudden this popped in my mind. My grandmother used to make a delicious one that I even loved as a kid, it seems that nobody in the family got the recipe before she passed. Would someone give me thier families best recipe, if you are willing to share.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have been told that it is called chow chow in Nova Scotia. This is a recipe for chow chow.

    1. Hi Jim,
      I was doing a search for a picture of Piccalilli Relish and came across your inquiry. I'm putting together a family cookbook inspired by my grandmother and think i have what you're looking for. It's from Family Circle, probably circa 1950's. I used to make it with her, lots of work but so worth it! That was over 40 years ago. I am attaching the page with this recipe. Enjoy!

      1 Reply
      1. re: mthomasdfg

        your eyes are better than mine if you can read that recipe!

      2. Could you tell us some of the ingredients that were in this relish and whether the consistency was fine or chunky?

        A couple of years ago a British friend sent me on a search for a piccalilli recipe and I discovered that what is Piccallili (also Chow Chow) over there (and, I guess, in Canada) is not necessarily Piccallili over here. Over there, it's yellow from the turmeric, usually has cauliflower florets in it, is quite chunky and therefore usually served on a plate. It's probably not something you could easily put on a sandwich. Over here it's more often, although evidently not exclusively, more of a gherkin pickle relish. It also might be yellow from the turmeric, although it's more often green. It has a distinctly gherkin flavor and is chopped up finely enough to put on a hamburger or hot dog.

        1. HI, American Piccalilli is generally made from green tomatoes. I found what appears to be a good recipe with the right ingredients here:

          I used to buy a brand called Forman's, which was taken over by Vlassic, which sold it to Heinz, who made it for a while, but discontinued it. I'd urge everyone to email Heinz, it was great! B&G (maybe a NJ brand?) made one, but they stopped, too! :o(
          Picalilli and Red Pepper relish are endangered species!! Petition Congress & H J Heinz!!

          5 Replies
          1. re: frumious

            where do you get the idea that "american picalilli" is generally made from green tomatoes? i've seen lots of different recipes.

            but i love the genre, for sure. i also like chow-chow, and sometimes use picalilli or chow-chow in my tuna salad. it's also good on top of some black-eyed peas, with the ubiquitous rice

            1. re: alkapal

              Here is my late mom's recipe for Chow Chow:
              CHOW CHOW

              (Will require a large bowl for mixing ingredients a number of pint or quart jars with flats and rings depending on how tightly the ingredients are packed in the jars) Boil jars to sterilize before filling.

              2 pints Apple Cider Vinegar
              4 cups Sugar
              Juice of 4 Lemons
              4 tablespoons Prepared Mustard
              ½ teaspoon Turmeric
              2 teaspoons Pickling Spice

              Mix well and simmer until sugar and mustard are dissolved. Let cool and strain.

              Medium Grind, or finer, as preferred :
              1 gallon Green tomatoes (or half green and half ripe for color, if desired)
              1 Large head Cabbage
              8 Medium Onions
              6 Bell Peppers
              6 hot peppers (Jalapeno, Cayenne, or chili peppers)
              1 or 2 red sweet peppers as desired for extra color, if desired

              Sprinkle ½ cup salt over this mixture, let stand for 1 hour and drain. Pour the cooled liquid over cabbage, tomatoes, peppers and onions. Put in sterilized jars, tightly seal as you do pickles. Will last a year, or more if properly sealed.

              1. re: billtexas

                I have never tasted Picalilli with green tomatoes. The version I came to love in England came in a jar, was yellow and had among other veggies, chopped up cauliflower and pearl onions. I'd put it on a sandwich of thick slabs of cheddar on grainy bread. Mmm.

                1. re: billtexas

                  that's nice of you to post your mom's recipe, bill. thanks!

              2. re: frumious

                For what it's worth, I also grew up with green tomato piccalilli - only kind I ever knew, although I've only had store bought. The kind we got was Howard's. It may be a New England thing, but they're alive and well - and they ship (

              3. Piccalilli and chow-chow are both just regional names for a mixture of pickled vegetables and spices -- loosely a relish, but there are as many recipes for both as there are cooks that make it.