Making Wendy’s Tomato Relish
We thought it was time to share some interesting insights into the making of Wendy’s Tomato relish. There are quite a few steps in the process that leads to the ever popular Tomato Relish. For those who are hoping to learn what secret ingredients are included, I am very sorry, if I reveal the details Wendy will have my head!
History of Wendy’s Tomato relish
Making Wendy’s Tomato Relish started as a small family enterprise decades ago. Wendy and her mum, Beth, shared many an hour in Beth’s kitchen producing jars for sale and gifts in their local community of Wagga Wagga. Opportunity to increase production emerged when the Farmhouse Industries co-op shop at Tarcutta started. Wendy further expanded her Tomato relish production to stock her Market Stall of homemade jams into Wollongong in 2015. Markets at Sutherland, Bulli and Kiama soon followed. 2020 has brought a relationship with the Picton Store as well as an online presence. Beth’s secret Tomato Relish recipe, continues to be Wendy’s most popular product. The constant demand keeps the supply chain very busy!
8 Steps From Orchard to Market Stall
As we all know, tomatoes don’t like sitting around for too long. If left on a bench too long they become over-ripe, leave them in a refrigerator too long and they go to mush. Timing is everything. Wendy has perfected the orchard to market to preparation to cooking to sealing in jars
1. The Source (not the Sauce)
Orchards in Cobram are the main source of Tomatoes. Quality and freshness of ingredients is key in the production of all food products. This is true for Wendy’s Crafts Tomato Relish. With seasonal variation the Flemington Markets are used from time to time.
There are commercial companies who transport boxes of fruit from place to place. Wendy reduces delays and damage by selecting and transporting the fruit herself. This is an important factor in the quality control of the ingredients. Once the produce has reached her kitchen, there is no delay, the tomatoes begin the next part of their adventure
3. Washing, Sorting and Weighing
Tomatoes are washed, sorted and weighed at the orchard. Wendy repeats this in case there are any issues during transportation. Re-weighing ensures that the recipe is repeated accurately for every fresh batch. One ingredient in the wrong proportion will ruin a batch.
4. Gathering all the Ingredients
Accidentally leaving out an ingredient or not having the right equipment available and clean is a cook’s disaster. The stove, the pot, stirring spoon, best knife from Finland, the clean AND dry chopping board, colander, chopped tomato container, pouring jug, sterilised jars… the list goes on. Every element vital to the success of the session of Tomato relish making.
5. Large quantity cooking
The popularity of the Relish requires multiplication of the original recipe. There is a critical mass. Wendy has developed the ideal multiple of the original recipe that will stay true to the taste, texture and colour of her mother’s recipe. This recipe has been in use for 28 years. Wendy knows not to mess with Beth’s recipe.
6. Into the jars
Wendy only uses glass jars. The tomato mixture is poured into the jars while still hot. The exact temperature, consistency, colour and taste is truly part of the “art” of making Tomato Relish. The art goes beyond the recipe and its ingredients. The art is truly the X Factor that Wendy brings to all her Jams, Marmalades and Relishes
7. Presentation of the Jars
There are endless possibilities for labels and lids. Marketing and promotional trends are all around us. Colours and fonts researched and focus-grouped until we barely know what we are buying. Wendy, instead, has deliberately chosen to tell-it-how-it-is. Title, ingredients. colour coded writing and ribbon. The Tomato Relish label in printed in black with a black ribbon. Distinctive but never over-the top.
8. Where to buy?