Tastebud: Chowchow Down


A pickled, relish-like spread that’s served cold, chowchow is popular in Pennsylvania, Appalachia, the American Southwest, and the South—and with gardeners who have leftover vegetables from summer’s harvest on their hands. The indiscriminate condiment employs almost anything from the ground, from tomatoes and onions to peas and cabbage, and is slathered on biscuits, beans, and burgers or eaten alone. Whatever its contents and purposes, chowchow is almost always flavored with mustard seed and vinegar. The origins of chowchow are disputed: some argue that chou, the French word for cabbage, is the root of the American name. (Other historians trace chowchow to reported sightings of the chow chow breed of dog listed on 19th-century restaurant menus in China; word got back to America, and when China began shipping pickles to the West Coast, the name stuck.)

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On the Menu: March 21 through March 27

Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, March 21, 3:00 P.M. Friends of James Beard Benefit A once-in-a-lifetime gathering of New Orleans chefs. This walk-around tasting is a benefit for the James Beard Foundation, America's preeminent culinary Foundation. Monday, March 22, 7:00 P.M. Team Vermont Writing about Vermont’s culinary renaissance in the New York Times, Mark Bittman raved that the state’s new locavore cuisine “can hold its own anywhere in the world.” Join us as the chefs at the forefront of this gastronomic movement treat Beard House diners to a taste of the

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