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Chow Chow


This sweet and tart condiment can be found in many Atlantic Canadian pantries. This recipe can easily be halved for smaller portions, but it’s worth the extra effort to make this much, as it keeps well when canned. It also makes a great hostess gift at picnics and low-key dinner parties.

Recipe courtesy of Nimbus Publishing, recipe adapted from Out Of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens.


  • 15 pounds (6.75 kg) green tomatoes
  • 5 pounds (2.5 kg) onions
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) salt
  • 4 cups (1 litre) vinegar
  • (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp (2ml) cloves
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp (2ml) allspice
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dry mustard
  • 3 cups (750 ml) sugar
  • Cayenne pepper (if desired)


  1. Cut the tomatoes into small dice, and mince the onions. Mix together and  sprinkle with salt. Cover and let stand eight hours (or overnight) in the fridge.
  2. Drain the vegetable mixture. Discard the resultant brine.
  3. To 1 cup of vinegar, add the spices, mustard and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add to the remaining vinegar and pour over vegetables. Bring to a simmer and cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally. The chow is now ready for eating or even better, for bottling and canning.
This recipe was featured in the article Old Recipe Revival.
  1. Pickling salt (coarse salt) should be used plus after draining off 8 hrs later vegetables should be rinsed with cold water & drained once again. Pickling spice should be put in a pouch made up of several layers of cheesecloth &I tied with a long string so it can retrieved from the pot before bottling.

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