Can you have too many chunks?

The chutneys have been disappearing at a seriously gratifying rate, what with gifting, cheese sandwiches and meals that pair well with their sourness (Spanish omelet was one somewhat surprising example). But the last two that I opened have been somewhat on the chunky side, with fruit that never disintegrated into a mush.

That begs a number of questions: Was I just too lazy to chop the ingredients up small? Is this the way it’s supposed to be anyway? And how do you fit a chunky chutney into a sandwich, without the chunks falling out?

The first was a pear and green tomato recipe from that Australian book, and while the color was a little disappointing (very, very brown), I liked the taste of almost-ripe Bosc pear, blended with sharp vinegar and oodles of crunchy mustard seeds. Most recipes want a teaspoon of mustard seeds. This one demanded a quarter of a cup. (Green tomatoes, I must admit, don’t have much taste. I suspect they were there as padding.)

Sadly it was all gone before I could get a picture.

The second, from earlier in the year, is proof that chutney-making really can be a year-round operation.  It’s a rhubarb tomato chutney, made as the arrival of rhubarb at the farmers’ market signalled that spring might actually come one day. It has heavy overtones of cumin, cloves and cardamon and a nice garlicky bite, with the chunky rhubarb adding sharpness rather than taste.

This time I got the picture before the chutney disappeared, although the color has more brown and less orange than shows on my computer screen.


Pear green tomato chutney 3-1/2 stars (out of five). It scores well for taste; loses points for color.

Rhubarb tomato chutney also 3-1/2 stars. It scores well on the spices, which really complement the sourness of the rhubarb, but at the end of the day, the pear-based offering just tastes better.



  1. alliumstozinnias said

    How would rhubarb-pear chutney be as a cross between the two?
    And I vote for some texture. You could always use an immersion blender/food processor/blender if you think it’s too chunky.

  2. It might taste good, but how does that idea tie in with trying to use things when they are in season?

    And somehow the idea of using a blender seems wrong. Either the fruit/veg break up in the cooking, or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t it’s my fault for not chopping it finely enough at the start. But there again I could change my mind.

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