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Chow chow, not the dog

singlemalt Dec 17, 2011 08:05 PM

Years ago, when the world was much larger, my aunt used to make a relish that we dubbed as "chow chow". I have searched for it on Google and have found several recipes, all seeming to involve chopped cabbage, which I don't remember being an ingredient of our 'Chow", but that is beside the point. The pointis that 1) I am lazy and 2) when I was growing up, my mother did not like to cook and, consequently, we ate a lot of "trailer trash" food which sometimes I grow very nostalgic over. Question: do any you know of a commercially available "chow chow" that might approximate the real thing and make a country boy happy. Thanks and happy holidays to all.

  1. alkapal Dec 20, 2011 01:33 AM

    in my research on this condiment -- and piccalilli and relish -- i've found that it is quite regional in the number of variations including or omitting cabbage, corn, tomatoes, onions, mustard, gherkins, peppers, etc….so many variations….

    i've bought some from heinz and some more local stuff from amish country. i love chow chow/piccalilli on hot dogs.

    1. c
      CanadaGirl Dec 18, 2011 05:31 PM

      Where I live, chow chow refers to a green tomato preserve. A google search for tomato chow turned up a bunch. I don't like it, so I can't judge the recipes.

      1. gaffk Dec 18, 2011 05:00 PM

        It's widely available here in the Philadelphia area, thanks to its proximity to PA Dutch and Amish communities. I've seen it both with and without the cabbage.

        But here's a link for a PA Dutch version without the cabbage (from an Indiana company, oddly enough)

        I did a yahoo search for "pennsylvania dutch chow chow recipe" and got a lot of results not using cabbage.

        1. nofunlatte Dec 18, 2011 04:54 PM

          I have the Jake and Amos brand (from Lancaster County, PA) and like it:

          I also have a jar of Kitchen Kettle Village chow chow in my pantry (a gift from Mom when she came out to visit me)--it's also a a PA Dutch country operation. I haven't eaten it yet, but it looks like chow chow!

          1. Antilope Dec 17, 2011 09:59 PM

            Corn, Chow Chow Relish - The Southeast Missourian newspaper - Oct 1, 1963

            Chow Chow Relish - The Press-Courier newspaper - Sep 12, 1975

            5 Replies
            1. re: Antilope
              alkapal Dec 20, 2011 01:41 AM

              thanks antilope! great links. i love that newspaper archive access. i need to study how to do it well, like you!

              1. re: Antilope
                hill food Dec 20, 2011 01:42 AM

                oh you dug deep. I'm bookmarking that if only for the 1970's ads

                1. re: hill food
                  alkapal Dec 20, 2011 01:45 AM

                  the photo of the homemaker with her jar of chow chow, too.

                  "save 7 cents on grape nuts! "" woo hoo!

                2. re: Antilope
                  Antilope Dec 20, 2011 09:20 AM

                  Google was going to keep archiving old newspapers. But then they orphaned the project. The existing ones will remain available, but they are not adding any more. They also took away the Advanced Newspaper Search form. Their regular News search form tends to get website news instead of newspapers. There is still a search form that will start out by accessing the newspapers. Here's the link:


                  The resulting URL's are quite long and don't paste well here, or cut off parts of the URL and don't work. So I use TinyUrl to convert them to shorter URL's


                  1. re: Antilope
                    alkapal Dec 20, 2011 06:04 PM

                    antilope, thanks for the tips. i never knew that was what "tiny url" was all about. i've got a steep learning curve.

                3. greygarious Dec 17, 2011 09:14 PM

                  The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain sells jars of chow chow relish in their attached gift shops. I buy it regularly. Their version does have cabbage.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious
                    greygarious Dec 18, 2011 10:12 AM

                    I am using an empty chow-chow jar to store dry beans. Part of the label is gone but the main ingredients that I can still read are cabbage, onion, bell pepper, and apple.

                    1. re: greygarious
                      Janet from Richmond Dec 20, 2011 10:04 AM

                      I buy it also. It's the closet I've found to what I grew up with here in Virginia.

                      1. re: Janet from Richmond
                        alkapal Dec 20, 2011 06:07 PM

                        hey janet, good to see you on this thread because i was thinking that you should see this article on richmond in this month's issue of garden & gun magazine (a fine magazine, by the way. high quality stock and photos with excellent writing).** http://gardenandgun.com/article/richmond-virginia

                        on food & drink: http://gardenandgun.com/article/richmond-restaurants

                        this month's table of contents: (with links) http://gardenandgun.com/magazine

                        ** it was recommended to me by veteran chowhound, "making sense." thank you, making sense, wherever you are.

                        1. re: alkapal
                          Janet from Richmond Dec 21, 2011 09:51 AM

                          Thanks for sharing this.........it is a fine magazine (that I would have overlooked otherwise).

                          Thanks to you and "making sense"!

                    2. jw615 Dec 17, 2011 08:14 PM

                      Where do you live? I see chow chow sold in canning jars, several different brands, in Amish country. (NE Ohio)

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