Impulse Buy: Harrison’s Fig And Olive Relish

Impulse Buy:¬†Harrison’s Fig & Olive Relish
Store: Lemon Street Market
Price: $7.95

Working the front desk at a yoga studio definitely has its perks. In exchange for four hours of work, I not only receive unlimited free access to all classes, I’ve also met a lot of really cool people and eaten a lot of really great food. I know, I know, a little unbelievable, right? Yogis have gotten a pretty bad reputation regarding their taste palates. The popular belief is that those who practice yoga have an affinity for all things vegan and organic, that is to say all things sugarless, earthy, and tasting like moss.

This is untrue, my friends. Take yours truly as exhibit A. I partake in a good downward dog about four times a week. My closet’s stocked with lululemon and Yogi Toes. I know my dosha. That being said, I still pound down pizza and PBRs like the recent college graduate I was conditioned to be. I like my cupcakes topped with a heavy dollop of refined sugar. And Dollar Taco Night? All over that shit. Let me be your proof that a yogi doesn’t always fit into a certain mold. In fact, that’s kind of what yoga is all about.

One day, I decided to stretch my tastes a little bit (Get it? Get it? Stretch?? I’ll be here all week). I’ve recently discovered Lemon Street Market, a little wink of a shop that sells delicious organic and/or vegan and/or awesome food and beverages. I’m always amazed at the type of products I find inside. Caveman muffins? Seaweed chips? Powdered peanut butter? What is this magic?? The prices are a little high for my just-out-of-college pocketbook, which is why I decided it was the perfect place to go for my impulse buy. Scouring the shelves, I finally found my purchase: Harrison’s Fig and Olive Relish. It’s perfect for many reasons. First, I love figs. Second, I love olives. Third, it was hella expensive. Proud of my find, I brought the adorable jar of tar-colored preserves home, sat it on my kitchen table… and had absolutely no idea what to do with it. I thought, and I thought, and then I got hungry. As I took out the ingredients from the fridge I needed to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich (yes, I’m that girl who keeps her bread in the fridge), the eco-friendly light bulb of my mind finally clicked on. “I have a jar packed with two things that I love… why not combine said jar with a third thing that I love? Would that result in sheer brilliance… or a traumatizing disaster?”

Breaking free from my internal film noir, I decided to try it. I stacked my sandwich: bread, relish, provolone, relish, provolone, bread. I grilled. I plated. I bit into my creation.

And I saw that it was good.

The sweet and salty flavor of the relish paired nicely with the mild sharpness of the cheese, and the crunchy fig seeds added a similar texture on the tongue to that of a poppy seed bagel. The fear that I had about¬†the relish making the bread soggy was quickly disproved; the heat caused the blend to reduce slightly into a jam-like consistency. As I ate, my mind raced through ideas of what else I could cover with this ambrosia. Other sandwiches, definitely, especially turkey and cheddar, but it’d also be a great substitute for tomato sauce on a goat cheese and caramelized onion pizza. Or it would be delicious straight out of the jar. In fact, I’m not just thinking this; I’m currently proving it true. Whatever. I’ll work off the karmic guilt in class tomorrow.

Johanna Caruthers just graduated with an English degree from McDaniel College. She is terrified about post-grad life, but is looking into becoming a professional body glitter tester.

Originally posted on Friday, August 31st, 2012

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