Firm garners recognition for adding peppers with relish

Lee Mathis
Lee Mathis

A Grand Valley business nearly eponymous for its decadent cheesecakes has earned additional recognition for a spicy Southern relish.

“We feel that by combining our love of heat with a sweet and savory Southern staple, we’ve created the perfect combination of sweet and heat,” said Lee Mathis, owner of Decadence Gourmet.

The company was among the winners of 2016 Good Food Awards for its Colorado-style Southern chowchow. The firm won in the pantry category in the national contest, which attracted more than 2,400 entries.

Decadence Gourmet also won two awards in an annual program conducted by Chili Pepper Magazine when its chowchow placed first in the category for hot relishes and second for specialty condiments.

Mathis created his version of chowchow in starting with the traditional pickled relish featuring cabbage, green tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and spices.

But Mathis then added five different kinds of peppers, including habanero, jalapeno and serrano peppers as well as ghost peppers and Trinidad scorpion peppers.

Chowchow constitutes the latest evolution for Decadence Gourmet, which Mathis started in 2004 to sell cheesecakes. He subsequently developed a product called cheesecakes in a jar that offer the flavor of full-sized cheesecakes in a individual serving-sized containers. Decadence Gourmet sells its chowchow in 3.5-ounce jars.

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