Chow Chow Is The Best Food You're Not Eating

Have you ever eaten chow chow? If you live in anywhere but certain parts of the United States, you most likely haven't — but you should. Chow chow (no, not the dog) is part slaw, part pickled relish, part condiment, part side dish. It's tangy, sweet, a little spicy, crunchy, and it pairs well with just about any savory food.

Chow chow is popular in parts of the American South, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Appalachia. It's made by combining a whole lot of different vegetables (usually with a cabbage or green tomato base), like onions, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, tomatoes, and peas in a mild pickle. The mixture is served cold, and some variations also kick it up with condiments like ketchup and mustard. It's great on its own and can top everything from burgers and hot dogs to beans, cornbread, chili, barbecue, sausages, mashed potatoes, greens, ham, biscuits and gravy, crab cakes... the list goes on and on.

There are several places online where you can purchase a bottle of the authentic specimen; we're fans of the spicy, cabbage-based one served at Alabama barbecue chain Full Moon BBQ. Plus, Tennessee-based The Old Mill sells 11 varieties, and Amana General Store's chow chow is about as classic as it gets.