Whether you call it Chow Chow, Chow-Chow, or ChowChow, this dish is made in lots of variations, just like the spelling of it’s name comes in lots of variations.
Around my “neck of the woods,” Chow Chow is one of those end of the season recipes that utilizes things that are quickly fading from the backyard garden.
It’s a way to use those tomatoes that are still on the vine, but will never turn ripe before the first frost gets them. Same for some of the other vegetables that are included in it. You pick them, then you figure out what you’re going to do with them.
Some folks use cucumbers, some use cauliflower, some use pretty much just cabbage. If you start looking for them, you’ll find lots of variations. It just depends on what you like and don’t like I guess.
I guess Daddy would have made Chow Chow more than my mom did. He took care of the gardening stuff throughout the summer, so it fell pretty much on him to clean it all up before the frost got it during the later part of Fall.
Mama on the other hand, in her later years, made a Squash Relish that I became fond of. I hope to do that recipe for you here on Taste of Southern one day. But for now, let’s make some Chow Chow.
I made this in 2016 and placed a jar in our North Carolina State Fair. It won Second Place that year, and this year (2017) I’m planning to enter a new batch with hopes of getting that prized Blue Ribbon. We’ll see.
Home Food Preservation seems to be fading away around my part of the country. At least among my friends and the folks that I know. It does take a little work, but it’s always fun afterwards to share a jar with friends and be able to say “I made this myself.” Plus, you always know what went in the jar.
Chow Chow is available at most of the grocery stores around the Eastern part of the United States. Not sure about anywhere else. I’ve never been much of a fan of the store bought kind, and I’m not sure what it is about the taste of the store purchased stuff that I just don’t seem to care for.
Chow Chow is sometimes called “Sweet” with a “Hot” version also available.
This recipe is fairly mild, but the Cayenne Pepper and Pepper Flakes give it a slight bit of heat. You could certainly eliminate that or add more, depending on your personal tastes.
We’ll take you through the steps of making the relish, then show you how to preserve it in jars that should keep you enjoying our Southern Chow Chow all year long. If it lasts that long that is.