Norristown native P.J. Hopkins grew up on the zesty zep sandwiches (do not call them hoagies or grinders!) at Eve's Lunch, so when he started his own fermenting company in 2015, Brine Street Pickelry, he was naturally determined to create his own spicy sandwich condiment "without all the chemicals and additives" of supermarket brands.
And so Hellish Hoagie Relish was born in Brine Street's commissary space at Greensgrow Farms, where he concocted a fire-engine-red spread made from cherry peppers, garlic, and cider vinegar.
Ironically, it doesn't have quite the acidic or spicy bite of the mass-market labels, in part because fresh sweet bell peppers are also added to the mix, and a little extra sugar is used to naturally extend shelf life in lieu of preservatives. But it still has a wonderfully full, round flavor. It also still has plenty of zip to give any hoagie -- or zep -- some zing.
-- Craig LaBan
Hellish Hoagie Relish from Brine Street Pickelry (brinestreetpicklery.com) retails for around $10 at Talula's Daily, Fair Food Farm Stand at the Reading Terminal, and Tela's Market.