Posted by: travelrat | November 26, 2008



I called at the Yorkshire stand at the World Travel Market not because I want to know about Yorkshire … I used to live there; my daughter still does … but because I recognised someone I know on the stand.

However, they did give me a jar of ‘Elijah’s Yorkshire Chutney’, and I had to think for a minute. Why did it bring the long-defunct TV series ‘Nearest and Dearest’ to mind? The answer, of course, was that one of the main characters was called Eli Pledge, of Pledge’s Pickle factory. Which isn’t exactly a close association, but an association nevertheless.

Now, rightly or wrongly, I’ve always regarded ‘pickle’ and ‘chutney’ as being synonymous. I often got told off by my EFRs (if you’re not into ‘Keithspeak’, that’s ‘elderly female relatives’) for calling Branston Pickle ‘chutney’. For the EFRs, the only chutney to be considered was green tomato chutney. They all made it; most of them grew tomatoes, but, in the north of England, the summers were seldom long enough or hot enough to ripen them. So, they got made into chutney.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with green tomato chutney, but there are many other kinds. What’s a curry without a generous dollop of mango chutney?

I’d be hard put to name a ‘King of Chutneys’, or select one person as Chutney King. But, high on the short list would be John Crompton, the chef at the Aravis Lodge in the Haut Savoie, about whom I have already posted. One evening, he served a starter of melon slices with charcuterie (Is there an English name for this? I only know the Italian antipasto and the German delicatessen.) And, to accompany it was his own banana and chili chutney. He later said he’d make chutney from just about any fruit or vegetable that was available and cheap, but this has to be one of his best.

But, to get back to ‘Elijah’s Chutney’, the ingredients must, by law, be stated, although the actual method and proportions are probably a secret. It says here that it contains rhubarb, apples, onions, raisins porter ale and ginger. And, that’s something to really make an ordinary cold beef sandwich memorable!


  1. Hey, it’s looking great around here! I am a huge fan of chutney. I have a great recipe for tomato chutney. I make a batch once or twice a year but the bad thing is all my friends steal it because they love it too and are too lazy to make their own.
    ‘Elijah’s Chutney’ sounds delicious. I haven’t ever seen it here but I’m going to try and get it from David Jones or one of the specialist delis in the eastern suburbs. I’ll let you know if I track it down!

  2. You can buy Elijah’s Chutney online at but I suspect you’d pay an inordinate amount for shipping. I believe NSW has restrictions on the import of food too (??)

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