Pickle relish has many delicious variations. Dill relish and sweet relish both call for pickles as the main ingredient, but there are several elements that set these condiments apart.
What are the differences between dill relish and pickle relish? Sweet relish contains a high amount of sugar and is sweet. Dill relish is spiced with dill and contains only a small amount of sugar — unlike sweet relish, it is sour, tangy, and tart. Dill relish and sweet relish have similar textures and uses.
Continue reading for a detailed comparison of dill relish and sweet relish, including how they are made, which one is healthier, how to use and store these relishes, etc.
What Is Relish?
Before we get into explaining the differences between dill relish and sweet relish, let’s first explain what relish is.
Relish is a condiment made from cooked and pickled finely chopped vegetables and fruits.
Vinegar and sugar are the two key ingredients used in the preparation of relishes. It may also contain herbs and spices.
Unlike other condiments, relishes are quite acidic. The acidity of relishes is often provided by the vinegar added to them, which also helps preserve relishes for longer periods of time. Sugar may be added to relishes to balance out all flavors.
No matter what they are made of, relishes always have a bold, piquant flavor. They are used to enhance the flavor of dishes.
Relishes are most popularly added to burgers, hot dogs, wraps, and meat. However, you can use relish with any food you like if you feel like it makes the food taste better!
What Are The Differences?
While relish can be made from a variety of fruits and vegetables, two of the most common relishes are dill relish and sweet relish.
Dill relish and sweet relish have a lot in common, but there are also a few differences between them.
Let’s compare dill relish to sweet relish and find out the differences and similarities between them!
What Is Dill Relish?
Dill relish is a type of relish made with pickling cucumbers and dill seeds. Fresh dill can also be used to make dill relish.
This condiment is very easy to make at home. However, it is so popular that you can find dill pickle relish in almost any store.
What Is Sweet Relish?
Sweet relish, also known as sweet pickle relish, is the sweet version of dill relish — but without the dill.
This is a jam-like condiment made with fresh or pickled cucumbers and has a distinctly sweet flavor.
The true differences between dill relish and sweet relish come from the ingredients used to prepare them.
The base ingredient, which is the cucumbers, are same for both relishes. You can use fresh or pickled cucumbers to make dill or sweet relish.
If you are using fresh cucumbers to make the relishes, let the relishes sit for a couple of weeks before you eat them. Fresh cucumbers need time to absorb all those bright flavors.
For dill relish, cucumbers are flavored with dill, as you can guess by the name. Other ingredients used in the preparation of dill relish are onion, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Turmeric is another common ingredient in dill relish.
You might be tempted to leave out turmeric, and you can. However, it is said to be good for preserving the flavor of pickled cucumbers. So, you might as well add it to dill relish whenever you decide to make it.
Aside from cucumbers, sweet relish contains onion, sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, mustard seeds, and salt.
So, dill relish and sweet relish share quite a few ingredients, including cucumbers, onion, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Both sweet relish and dill relish may also contain bell peppers, olive oil, various seeds and spices, etc.
Thanks to the ingredients used to prepare them, dill relish and sweet relish taste very different.
Sweet relish is sweet along with the tart and vinegary flavors that all relishes have. The sweetness of the relish depends on the amount of sugar you use.
While sweet relish does call for a fair amount of sugar, you should be careful to not overdo it. Sweet relish that is too sweet will overpower the flavor of any dish you pair it with.
Dill relish contains a lot less sugar than sweet relish. The sugar in dill relish not only makes the relish taste sweet, but also balances out its tart, tangy, and sour flavor.
Dill relish and sweet relish both have chunky textures as the cucumbers are typically finely chopped. The texture of the relish may be less chunky if you use a food processor to chop the cucumbers.
Ideally, the cucumbers in dill relish and sweet relish should also be slightly crunchy.
The preparation process of dill relish and sweet relish is pretty much the same. The only difference is that you add more sugar when making sweet relish or add dill when making dill relish!
Here are some simple steps to making your own relish at home:
- First off, you need to chop the cucumbers and onions. If you are using bell peppers, chop them too.
- The next step is soaking the cucumbers and onions in salty water.
- While the cucumbers soak, you need to mix vinegar with sugar and all the spices and seeds in a pot.
- Bring the vinegar mixture to a boil. Allow it to boil for 5-10 minutes.
- Next, drain the cucumbers and add them to the boiling vinegar mixture.
- Boil for another 5-10 minutes.
- Add olive oil to the relish and transfer it into an airtight jar.
Uses And Pairings
Having relish at home means you can enrich the flavor of your dishes with vinegary flavor without having to do any additional chopping.
You can use dill relish and sweet relish with any dish you like. If you don’t know what to eat dill and sweet relishes with, here are a few ideas:
- Potato salad. Use dill or sweet pickle relish to make potato salad. The neutral flavor of potatoes makes the relish flavors shine.
- Burgers. If you are tired of the same old burger condiments, spice things up and substitute them with something as piquant and rich as pickle relish. Depending on what you have in your burger, both dill and sweet relishes will work well for it.
- Hot dogs. Hot dogs and relish are already a classic combination. Be it sweet relish or dill relish, your hot dog sandwich will taste a few times better with it.
- Salads. If you want to make your salad taste better but don’t have time to make a salad dressing, add some relish to it. Dill relish and sweet relish are particularly good for tuna salads. They work great for pasta salads too.
- Eggs. Eggs are a very versatile ingredient if you are looking for ways to experiment with pickle relish. You can make a delicious egg salad with dill relish or creamy deviled eggs with sweet relish.
- Chicken. Whether you are serving pan-fried chicken on a bed of rice or making a chicken sandwich, a dollop of relish on top would be a nice addition.
Cucumbers that have been pickled contain probiotics which are good for gut health. Also, the pickling process enriches cucumbers with vitamin A. Relishes also contain a low amount of saturated fats and cholesterol.
On the flip side, dill relish and sweet pickle relish are high in sodium. You shouldn’t consume them in large amounts in order not to exceed your daily sodium intake.
What makes dill relish healthier than sweet relish is the fact that it doesn’t contain a high amount of sugar.
In general, relishes are not bad for you if they are homemade or don’t contain preservatives and artificial additives — they’re certainly healthier than most store-bought condiments we regularly use, such as mayonnaise and ketchup!
Unopened relish doesn’t need to be refrigerated, be it homemade or store-bought. Simply keep it in a dark and cool place and check from time to time to see if it is still tightly sealed.
Once you open the relish, store it in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar. Both dill and sweet relish will last quite a long time in the fridge as they contain vinegar, which is an effective natural preservative.
Opened relish that has been stored in the fridge at all times will last up to 12 months.
Now that we know everything about both dill and sweet relish, here are some related questions we thought you might have.
Which relish is better for hot dogs?
Relish is one of the best condiments to use for hot dogs. But if you have to choose between pickle relish and sweet relish, which one should you use?
Texture-wise, dill relish and sweet relish are the same. Both will add crunchiness to your hot dog sandwiches.
The relish you should use for hot dogs really depends on your flavor preferences.
Dill relish has a sour flavor, while sweet relish is obviously sweet. Sweetness will complement the flavor of the hot dog sausage nicely while the dill relish may overpower it. But again, it’s up to you!
Can you substitute sweet relish with dill relish?
You can substitute sweet relish with dill relish if you don’t mind the flavor differences. Dill relish usually lacks the sweetness sweet relish has.
With this said, it is important to note that sugar and dill are not mutually exclusive.
You can use both sugar and dill to make relish if you like the combination of these two flavors. Sweet dill relish is a great substitute for sweet relish.