Giardiniera - relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar closeup. vertical view from above
Food - Drink
The Difference Between Traditional Giardiniera And The American Variety
Giardiniera is a mix of pickled vegetables that is best known in the U.S. by Chicagoians as a common topping on their famous beef sandwiches. The origins of these pickles can be traced to Italy, and this has resulted in two distinct types: the original Italian giardiniera and what has come to be known as the Chicago-style.
Making Italian giardiniera was originally done to preserve vegetables for the winter months, so the veggies are cut much more roughly and are packed mostly in vinegar. Italian giardiniera is most commonly served as antipasti (a standalone appetizer served on charcuterie trays) rather than as a condiment for other dishes.
Chicago-style giardiniera, on the other hand, is first pickled in vinegar, but then drained after about two weeks and replaced with oil. Some Chicagoans also seem to enjoy the addition of hot peppers, so you can find and purchase versions that are hot, medium or mild to use as a tangy condiment for your favorite sandwiches.