Radish relish is a specific variety of relish, which is a traditional vegetable paste in English-speaking food cultures. Like other kinds of relish, radish relish is often pickled or preserved in a mix of vinegar and other ingredients. Relish, which is similar to other food items in various other ethnic cuisines around the world, sometimes confuses newcomers to English-speaking countries, since the word itself, when not designating a food, means “to enjoy something.” A particular characteristic of radish relish that sets it apart from many other varieties of relish is its bright red coloration.
To make radish-based relish, cooks will often start with whole radishes. They will commonly dice these radishes and cook them for several minutes before canning them or otherwise preparing them for storage. Many cooks will add other vegetables like celery and onions, into the mix.
Aside from mixed vegetables, radish relish commonly has other ingredients intended to add flavor to the dish. Mustard seeds, horseradish or other natural spices may be used to give the radish relish a piquant or tangy flavor. Some cooks may also use garlic or green herbs like dill, which impart their own flavors to the dish in ways that can reflect personal or regionally inspired cooking styles.
Sugar is also an ingredient that gets added to many recipes for radish relish. Various kinds of sugar can be used, including white granulated sugar or brown sugar, or liquid sweeteners like agave or honey. The use of sugar is a controversial part of these dishes because it changes the taste of the dish from a savory taste to a sweet taste. Personal taste in the food cultures familiar with relish vary widely; some people like the sweeter versions of radish relish and similar concoctions, while others prefer a non-sweet variety. Another common example of this controversy is with mayonnaise based salads, such as potato salad, where sweet and non-sweet versions are both popular in American and other English-speaking food cultures.
No matter what goes into radish relish, the process usually follows some basic conventions. After boiling, relish will be stored in jars, and sealed for preservation in cases where it will not be refrigerated. The end result is a kind of spread or paste that provides some of the unique taste of the radish, along with other tastes common to pickled or vinegar preserve foods. It is then often used as a condiment for sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers.