A influx of Italian immigrants came to Chicago in the early 1900s, and they brought with them a taste for their traditional foods. One of them was giardiniera, a marinated relish of peppers and vegetables.
Find the best giardiniera in Chicago at J. P. Graziano, a grocery store that has been selling Italian foods since 1937. Founded by Vincenzo (J.P.) Graziano, who came to America from Sicily, it’s a fourth-generation family business. The family expanded it to include a sandwich shop in 2006.
The simple ingredients in this tasty Graziano condiment have remained unchanged since the 1950s, as the store sells it mild or hot. The vegetables in both varieties are celery, cauliflower, carrots and olives, a fruit that cooks (and consumers) classify as a vegetable. Vegetable oil, salt, vinegar and spices round out the ingredients.
As for the peppers that are in each variety, the mild one uses green bell peppers and red bell peppers whereas the hot kind uses red bell peppers and Serrano peppers, which are a type of of chili pepper with origins in Mexico. At Graziano’s, the peppers are still hand cut and the giardiniera is packed by hand.
When you’re in the West Loop area, stop by the store to buy a jar of the best giardiniera in Chicago. Take it home and put its fine ingredients on pasta, pizza, salads, burgers, tuna salad, hot dogs or any food that you want to add zest to. Let your imagination go wild.
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