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Foodstuff: Patak’s Lime Pickle

I have never been terribly fond of Lime pickle. It was often on the table as a condiment with curry when I was growing up but I didn’t usually partake. Since those days, I have had several commercial brands, and have even tried making it myself, but I have generally found that it has the same slightly ‘soapy’ taste that I associate with Cilantro. When I saw the variety put out by Patak’s at our local grocery I almost gave it a pass but then I reconsidered and decided I really ought to give it a try… 

The pickle, as you can see, has a nice reddish tint and is quite chunky. In fact, I would have to say that this particular version has much larger chunks of lime in it than I have come across before. The aroma is very rich and strong and is dominated by a very sharp lime tang to the point that the spice aromas are almost completely masked.

The taste, however, is a different story… The lime is still very dominant but the spices are much more apparent. I can’t really identify the spices individually but the taste is slightly reminiscent of Patak’s Hot Curry Paste and there is even a fair heat to it. Best of all, though, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this particular Lime Pickle manages to avoid the ‘soapiness’ of other versions. There is, however, a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste but this could easily be offset by adding just the tiniest touch of sugar, or else by serving it with accompaniments that are naturally sweet themselves.

Overall

On the whole, I was glad I tried this and I can say that it is the best lime pickle I have had. My earliest experiences with Indian pickles were as condiments to go on the side of a plate of curry to be eaten in small amounts with each mouthful of food. This pickle would work well that way, although maybe with another sweeter pickle as a counter-balance, but it would also be very nice on top of plain boiled rice… possibly with some sort of side salad as part of a vegetarian meal.

The pickle could also be used as part of other preparations (especially with the larger chunks blended a little more finely). When I first tasted it, I was put in mind of Tom Yum Soup and that made me think that I should try something that combines the pickle with shrimp in some fashion. I will be considering the possibilities over the next few weeks…

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