Apples, Apples & more Apples

bowl of apples This week I have made apple chutney so want to pass on the very simple recipe which tastes sooo good.  You will find it on the recipe pages.  The apples in the picture were harvested from a tree along our lane which stands in a plot of vacant land.  They have gone into making a couple of lovely apple cakes of which the recipes have been included in the recipe pages.

Why do we make chutney?  Simply to preserve fruit and vegetables, not as necessary nowadays with fridges and freezers, and of course global food production which means fruit and vegetables are in our supermarkets all year round.  But in days gone past it was a way of keeping fruit and vegetables in an edible state to use with meals throughout the winter.

The name chutney is a Hindu word ‘chatni’ meaning to lick. This method of preserving food combines fruit and spices.  Mango chutney is probably the most well known from Indian along with Lime pickle.

Chutney was imported from India as long ago as 1600’s by the East India Company.  It was in the Victorian era that recipes for chutney became popular.

Major Grey’s chutney was imported from Bombay.  But it is thought that this is a mythical character, a colonial British Officer who loved curries and made his own chutney.

It was Cross & Blackwell who first  popularised chutney in the UK.

Chutney of course keeps for a long time, potentially years if stored in cool dark conditions and it improves with age.

Different vinegars and spices can be used for different flavour combinations and can be made from any fruits, tomato is a favourite, but last year I grew a lot of beetroot so made beetroot chutney.

Chutney can be used as any other condiment in sandwiches, with salads, on cold meats and naturally goes with strong flavours or use to beef up bland ones.

jars of chutney A picture of my apple chutney, now put away in the cupboard to mature.

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