8 Different Brands of Hamburger Relish
In the past 2 or 3 months I've come across 8 different brands of Red Hamburger Type Relish (aka sweet pepper relish, not to be confused with pepper relish), I only tried 5 of them because I found an old favorite is available again so I stopped right there. The 3 brands I did not buy was B&G, Nalleys and Farman. All 5 were pretty good and really livened up the taste of a BBQ burger. Below is a list ranked from my least favorite to the best.
5. Wickles Hoagie & Sub Sandwich Relish = A pepper relish with no sweetness, this gives a spicy kick to the burgers but don't use to much at once or you will be reaching for whatever you are drinking. It is not quite what I'm looking for an a burger but I like it better than just mustard or ketchup.
4. Del Monte Hamburger Style Relish, Made by the MA Gedney Company. This is a sweet pepper relish that gives the burgers a nice flavor. I thought the relish was a bit dry compared to others. I would buy this again if I can't find any other ones.
3. Cains Sweet Tomato Hamburger Relish.Also made by MA Gedney Company. It is nice and moist, the relish inside is crunchy.
2. Cains Fancy Sweet Pepper Relish. Also Made by MA Gedney Company. This has more of a deeper redish color then Cains Hamburger, the sweet peppers and some kind of seasoning gives this a nice but different flavor than the Cains HB relish. If you want to try this, also buy the Cains HB relish and decide for yourself, there is nothing wrong with either of them.
1. Knotts Berry Farm Meat Relish. The original was discontinued shortly after knotts sold it to Conagra back in the mid 1990's. This new stuff is bottles by a private label company in SoCal and also packaged under a private label. I'm told the original used corn syrup for the sweetness. The new recipe is all natural with no preservatives. For those that remember the original Knotts Meat Relish, this is very close but the veggies in it are not as chunky, I'm told Knotts no longer owns the original recipe. The Knotts retails for $5.99 a 13 oz. jar. The private label brand is about $4.00 a jar. I've compared both labels and the recipe is identical, the picture on Knotts label and the private label is the same except for the verbage. The Knotts brand was shipped to me directly from Knotts in Buena Park. The private label brand is available in SoCal, Arizona and Las Vegas. This stuff is also great as a topping on Steak. I'm dumping my A1 sauce down the drain, just like I did when I first tasted the Knotts back in the 80's.
In the Phoenix area, Las Vegas and Southern California you can find it at Whole Foods Market, it is bottled under the Jim Brown's Original Relish label. You might want to call the store to make sure it is in stock. There is a couple places in Tucson that carry it also. Jim does not use corn syrup, he uses pure cane sugar. You can find more info about the product on his website www.jimbrownsoriginal.com Have a look at the Knotts label (attached) and then look at the label on jim's website.
The Wickles spread isn't really traditional Hamburger relish, and if you are looking for that sweet concoction it will leave you wanting, but it is an absolute must have in any refrigerator for sandwiches in general.
I used to buy another brand when I lived in the northeast (I can't remember the name, I just always grabbed the jar by the looks - tall thin jar with a white label, maybe some blue or red on it) but the Wickles is available in Florida, and it is just as good.
I've given up trying to find the "real" red hamburger relish I grew up on (yes in SoCal before the 1970s).
If you aren't afraid of a little (ok, a lot) of work, make your own. I like the recipe called Wiimpy's Delight, from Fancy Pantry by Helen Witty, It can be found on the web.
If you have Howards brand in your area, give it a try. I buy the red relish in summer- great on hot dogs, with lots of hot mustard. They also have a green piccalili which is great.