I am always on the lookout for new savoury treats to enjoy yet I rarely consider trying pickles as I assume that they are not suitable for dairy free me. In fact I have to confess to only really having a little at Christmas, Easter or special family occasions. So when I was asked if I would like to review The English Provender Co hot tomato pickle I was surprised to discover that it was suitable for a vegan diet and was indeed dairy free. So I of course accepted the offer to try the pickle.
Onto the packaging I liked the rectangular design of the glass jar which allows you to see the inviting pickle inside. To the front is a label which has a circle with the company’s logo to the top underneath there is a spoon and the name of the pickle. This is surrounded by a picture of tomatoes. Simple but effective. Onto the ingredients list Sugar, Tomato Paste (11%), Red Pepper, Onions, Cider Vinegar, Water, Gherkins (Gherkins, Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Salt), Barley Malt Vinegar, Carrot, Swede, Red Chilli, Chilli Rings (Chilli, White Wine Vinegar, Sugar, Salt), Cornflour, Garlic, Salt, Yellow Mustard Seeds, Spices. Barley and mustard are clearly highlighted as allergens in bold. There is no may contain warning. On the company’s website it is labelled as being as being suitable for a vegetarian diet and a vegan diet.
On opening the jar I heard a slight click and release as I twisted and lifted the lid. I was greeted by a fairly strong aroma of rich smoky tomato with a hint of onion and pepper and garlic noted. This intensified on my famous close up test the smoky tomato aroma took centre stage.
On taking the pickle out of the jar via a teaspoon I immediately liked the deep red colour. It had a nice thick chunky consistency. I could clearly see the tomato intermingled with pepper, onion and swede. I Initially I tried the pickle by itself. The first thing that struck me was its smokiness, I was worried that it may be a little too hot from the chilli but not so. I got the initial smoky tomato flavour this was then intermingled with the slight sweetness from the pepper and swede. I then got a slight kick from the onion and chilli. The combinations of flavours complimented each other perfectly. I liked the variety of textures that had been integrated nicely into the pickle from the slight firm crunch from the carrot, pepper, and onion though to the slight smoothness from the swede and tomatoes.
At this point I should confess to having requesting ideas on how to use this pickle. I used it slightly warmed to top a sausage on in a baguette and the combination of flavours and textures worked perfectly. I also had it topped on a burger, delicious and perfect for summer barbecues. My favourite yet most simple suggestion was to have it in a cheese toasty. I simply added some of the pickle to the top of the cheese before toasting. It added a very delicious yet simple twist, there was no mushiness that you can get from a tomato and cheese toasty. The slight kick from the chilli and smokiness from the tomatoes worked really well with the melted cheese and made for the perfect quick and easy savoury treat.
So would I recommend this tomato pickle? Yes definitely. I liked everything about this chutney from its packaging through to its aroma, flavour and texture. So if you follow a dairy free, vegetarian or a vegan diet why not give this a try. So thank you The English Provender Co for producing a pickle that I can enjoy.