Pear relish is a type of relish, and, as the name suggests, the main ingredient is pears. Other ingredients, like onions and spices, are often added as well. There are also several variations on traditional pear relish. This type of relish can be served as an accompaniment to certain foods, or it can be served alone, as a side dish.
A relish is considered a type of condiment. Pear relish, which is particularly popular in the southern United States, is only one type of relish. Many experts believe pears used for this relish should be almost ripe, but not quite. Hard pear varieties are also considered superior.
Besides pears, some of the other main ingredients in traditional pear relish include peppers, onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices. The spices used may vary, but often include salt, allspice, or turmeric. Pickling spices are also used often
Sweet pear relish is also popular. This is usually achieved by omitting the onions and peppers, and adding other types of fruits instead. Adding cranberries, for example, is one popular variation. Honey may also be added to make this relish sweet. Some cooks also add ginger to this recipe.
Spicy pear relish is another popular variation. To make this, peppers such as jalapenos are added. Some people may prefer to remove the seeds, which are the hottest parts of the pepper, before using it.
The pears, along with the other fruits and vegetables, are cored and chopped up to make this relish. For chunkier relish, a cook can simply chop them up with a knife. Other recipes may call for more finely chopped ingredients. Sometimes, the fruits and vegetables must be pureed in a blender or food processor.
After the fruits and vegetables are chopped, the other ingredients are usually added. Since many pear relish recipes require the mixture to be cooked, it is usually placed in a heavy sauce pan. It is then simmered for a while. It can then be canned to preserve it. Recipes that require no cooking should be refrigerated and used quickly to prevent spoilage.
Pear relish can be served several ways. Many people will spread sweet relish on warm biscuits, for instance. It can also be served on top of soups or other vegetables. It is also used as an accompaniment to meat and poultry, particularly chicken and pork. Some cooks serve this relish as a separate dish, rather than as a condiment.