Monday, May 10, 2010

What Is Giardiniera?

If you're from Chicago, chances are great you know what giardiniera is ...

If you're not, don't worry, sooner or later good things will come your way!

Seriously though, giardiniera has been around for a long, long time.  It originated in Italy, and the word "giardiniera" loosely translates to "from the garden".  Which is appropriate, because everything you find in giardiniera you'll also find in a garden.

There are about as many recipes for giardiniera as there are for, say, pizza.  But much like pizza, there is a core list of ingredients.  For the most part, those are:

  • Hot or Mild Peppers
  • Celery
  • Green Olives
  • Carrots
  • Other Vegetables
  • Oil
Traditionally, giardiniera was packed in olive oil.  That's still the case, but it's less and less common.  Now, most giardiniera manufacturers use shelf stable oil, like vegetable oil, soybean oil, or a mixture.

The ingredients are mixed with Italian spices, packed into a jar or similar container, and oil is added.  You don't need to refrigerate giardiniera because the oil is shelf stable.  Actually, refrigerating giardiniera can change the complexity of the oil and therefore, the taste.  And we don't want to do that!  A jar of giardiniera will stay fresh for at least a year.  Just store it with your spices in a room temperature cabinet.

Click here to learn more about giardiniera ...


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