An all-time favourite, which goes great with curries, cold meats and cheese.
• Gluten Free
I was quite surprised by this. I never would have put peach and garlic together and thought "Hey, that will be brilliant!" But clearly someone did and they were very, very right.
I started off testing this with a ham and cheese sandwich. It's benchmark foodstuff that is almost impossible to get wrong, and will bring out the flavour of any condiment thrown at it. The chutney was amazing, with the soft, sweet fruitiness of peach and an undertone of sharpness from the garlic and spices. It went so well with the shaved ham and edam cheddar, I had to have another one to make sure I wasn't getting it wrong.
For something different, I then stirred 2-3 teaspoons of the chutney through a cooked packet of 2-min microwave rice. The rice itself can be quite bland on the tongue, but this added that same rich and layered taste and made a quick and boring snack into something even the fussiest of my young whanau wanted to try. These are kids who think pizza is a bit too rich for their tastes.
Lastly, I used this to make a glaze for some BBQ steaks which, thanks to rotten weather, ended up being done on a small charcoal grill under the shelter of the opened garage door. I suspect this was the best thing to have happened, as the smokey flavour the meat picked up went so well with the glaze, and turned the meat into something I would feel comfortable eating in a quality restaurant. A nice crisp salad on the side, some fried onions, and a couple of chargrilled corn cobs with pepper and butter - a meal fit for a visiting celebrity.
All in all, this was quite remarkable, and a lot better tasting that you may at first think. Sometimes these things just really take you by surprise, and all you can do is doubt your preconceptions the next time.
This is one of those 'dark horses' that you stumble across and wonder why you never noticed them before. Though I hesitate to say it, the thought of sweet peach flavours and the rich, almost bitter, taste of garlic isn't a match I would have immediately leapt to, yet if you follow with Asian food thought, contrasting flavours make the best combinations. Western culture is all about complimentary flavours - do they have anything in common that allows them to 'overlap' and thus add to each other... while the Eastern regions work on the principle of 'completing the taste spectrum' where all the ingredients are different, opposites almost, and work together to represent all 5 of the major flavour groups: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savoury).
In this chutney, you have the sweetness from the peach, the bitter and umami represented by the garlic, and the salty and sour are represented by the vinegar, herbs and spices added in to round out the flavour. What you end up with is a full mouth of taste, and a big surprise as you suddenly realise why the Asian cultures manage to make so many wonderful, different dishes from... well, pretty much anything they can catch, collect, or dig up. For decades the Western world has been stuck on the idea that Eastern food is either too strange, too hot, or just plain too scary to consider. This is one tiny example of how wrong we can be.
Though I can't say for sure this is an Asian inspired chutney, I can say that it held no surprises for an Asian lady I spoke to about it. She was quite adamant that such combinations as this are quite commonplace in Asian cuisine, and she was quick to give me some wonderful suggestions on how to use it.
Diluted down a little with some dark soy sauce and some fresh kiwifruit pulp or pineapple juice it makes for a steak marinade to die for. On crackers topped with a slice of tomato, a cocktail shrimp and a few baby chives. Make a chicken skewer kebab and glaze the meat with some of this before cooking it on a BBQ grill also sounds like a wonderful idea!
Overall, what a real shocker of a pleasant surprise this turned out to be. It had everything I could want in a chutney, with only ONE flaw... the jar was too small. I ran out before I could try everything!
I opened my pot of Q Garden's Peach and Garlic Chutney last night as an accompaniment to some sweet corn nuggets. Reading the ingredients on the side of the packet, it was sounding quite fruity - Peach, dates, raisins, until we got to the vinegar, ginger, garlic and spices. When you open the lid, you can mostly smell the garlic, with a hint of the sweetness of the fruit additives.
The taste itself had an immediate hit of vinegar, followed by the flavour of fruit. Peach notes were overpowered in my opinion by the vinegar and dates. The after taste was still pretty vinegary, but with a warming sensation on the palate of garlic and ginger. Straight from the jar, the taste was a bit too vinegary for me, but I'm not a huge vinegar fan.
This would be great on a ploughman's sandwich, with lots of hearty slices of roast meat and cheese. You could easily serve it with deep fried Camembert cheese, or over cream cheese with crackers as something a bit different from the normal sweet chili sauce. I could also imagine this as an excellent additive to a pot roast (I do one with apricots and dates, which is not too dissimilar flavour-wise).
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