A RELISH made from fresh fruit and spices, chutney was originally from India and used to accompany curries.

It was brought back to England and the colonies, not as a fad but as a means of preserving fruit and vegetables.

Even now chutney remains to be a great way of preserving the seasonal glut of fruit and vegetables, and as we know it is most commonly enjoyed with cheese, pâtés and cold meats - or ploughman’s.

The most iconic chutney to date - for us Brits anyway - is the iconic and typically English Branston Pickle.

As with most things, the proof is in the pudding because Branston Pickle now sell more than a whopping 17 million jars a year!

Mango chutney is another firm UK favourite and was supposedly invented by a British Officer serving in colonial India.

Chunky, fine cut or smooth is a question of taste, but all of them start from the basic ingredients of vinegar and brown sugar.

To produce a sweet preserving liquid add fruit, vegetables and spices to taste, and simmer long and slow in an open pan to evaporate off any liquid, reducing and thickening into an intensely flavoured relish.

Watson and Woollard, Kendal, has a full range of pies which could be matched with accompanying chutneys. Go for pork pies at £1.20 each, chicken and mushroom pie at £1.30 and steak and ale or mince and onion pie at £1.30.

Try your pies with homemade chutneys from Hazelmere Cafe and Bakery, Grange-over-Sands, where they have damson chutney (Delia Smith’s favourite) at £3.99 (205g jar) and beetroot chutney at £1.99 (205g jar).

If your not a pie person, stay in Grange where Higginsons has pressed beef at £1.09 per 100g. Set in jelly, this is like a brawn but with beef rather than pork. They also have steak hache at £2.20 each. Ideal with salad, chutney and chips, this classic French steak is made up of lean ground steak and is slightly seasoned with salt and pepper.

Why not experiment by making your own chutney to go with meat, pies and more using green tomatoes at £2.50 per kilo or golden cherry tomatoes at £11 per kilo from Growing with Grace, Clapham.

They also have pattypan - a type of summer squash - at £2.99 per kilo, great for chutney.

Alternatively, head to the Courtyard Dairy, Settle, where they have Yorkshire producer Rosebud Preserves’ cucumber pickle at £3.50 (12oz), perfect on top of potato with their grilled Ogle Shield at £24 per kilo. They also have fig chutney at £3.50 (12oz). Team with fresh goat’s milk cheese Tarentais at £8.50, made in the Alps.

Make life easy for yourself and get a choose-your-own ploughman’s from Baba Ganoush, Kendal, at £5.45 (in or out) complete with their mango, country garden or apricot and ginger chutney.

Or go to Burton Community Stores and give their goat’s cheese quiche with caramelised red onions a go. Enjoy in at £4.50 or take out for £3.50. Their sandwich special of the week is also Wensleydale cheese with Victorian chutney at £2.50 (in or out).

Finally, Kendal Fisheries has wild sea trout (try with gooseberry chutney) and wild sea bass (match with mango chutney) from the Lune estuary, both at £16.95 per kilo.