Christine Fishwick is the talent and heart behind The Pickled Wife, with an exceptional flair for concocting an exquisite range of heart-warming and tantalising condiments and pickles. The humble pear is but one of the local products that has been transformed by Christine to become one of the prominent members of The Pickled Wife’s delectable range, which once tasted will undoubtedly become a staple of your grazing boards.
The concept for The Pickled Wife came about while enjoying a bottle at a friend's winery, after sharing a grazing platter that included a few of Christine’s home-made condiments. Everyone in the group raved about her additions and wanted to purchase jars to take home, but Christine reminded them that she was simply making the preserves in her home kitchen, for the love of it. After a few hours of gentle prodding, a bit more wine, and group brainstorm, The Pickled Wife was founded.
Christine Fishwick has been professionally creating a wide range of preserves for 8 years now, focusing on produce from her local area, the Southern Forests of Western Australia. Her current line-up includes Dukkah, Hot Jam Relish, Pickled Cucumbers, Green Tomato Pickle and more. Ingredients are sourced in-season from several growers, such as Genuinely Southern Forests favourites A Guadagnino & Co on Seven Day Road, and local greenhouse growers Planted Passion. Beurre Bosc pears, red and green tomatoes, red chillies, and Lebanese cucumbers are transformed into delectable preserves fit for the highest quality cheeseboards. Tahitian limes, Italian garlic and coriander are grown by Christine in her organic home garden.
Having a well-stocked pantry has always been a priority for Christine, as well as gifting home-made food items to family and friends. Being able to make up batches of zingy relish, perfect pickles, and flavourful jams, all with added love, means Christine is never lacking something to grab going out the door to visit friends.
Small batch preserving comes with its challenges. The recipe remains the same, but the results differ each time due to the produce and variable conditions. Preserving and highlighting what nature has grown, with respect to those variations, is part of the process when preserving in smaller batches. That’s what makes the artisanal process so special - it’s not mass produced, each jar is unique. Consumer satisfaction is a priority in every aspect of The Pickled Wife food brand, as the customer experience is what drives the success of the business. Christine takes great pride in ensuring quality, value, and reliability to her followers.
The Pickled Wife creates products for every occasion. Home-made burgers call for her cucumber pickles; if you’re serving up a curry, the vibrancy of the Pickled Limes is second to none. Christine’s Dukkah is a great grab-and-go item, pairing perfectly with a loaf of crusty bread and some quality olive oil. Her Hot Jam has garnered a cult-following, and her Pickled Pears are a beautiful rustic addition to a grazing board.
Learning from those who’ve come before, many of Christine’s recipes have been handed down through her family for generations. These recipes hold a special place in her heart, and she feels honoured to continue to pass on the tradition of crafting preserved products. The smell of sizzling spices on the stovetop transcends Christine to her Nan’s kitchen, where as a child she would lend a hand to fill the pantry with jars of preserves ahead of winter. The importance of passing those special family recipes from one generation to the next is part of a family’s food history and Christine feels proud to be keeping the joy alive. Sharing these flavours with her customers allows her to share the love further.
The Fishwick family love living in the Southern Forests, as it’s such a rich and diverse region where the community is so connected. The local food scene is going from strength to strength, with new venues opening, brands being forged, and creative and illustrious minds moving in. Christine says that the abundance of locally grown, world-class produce is a maker's dream and to be able to capture all of that in The Pickled Wife’s range of products is very special. The friendships forged along the way with other like-minded foodies and the local growers are invaluable.
Cooking with The Pickled Wife’s products is easy, with so many uses for each item. Christine recommends sprinkling her Dukkah over local royal blue potatoes roasted in duck fat, or combining the Hot Jam with feta, parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil as a pour-over sauce for spuds. Her Pickled Pears are beautiful when roasted in the oven, as the sugars caramalise and the pears soften, making them complement roast pork or a good cheese. Sharing recipes and suggestions on her social media has helped Christine widen her audience, she now has fans from all over the world.
Over the last few years, Christine has witnessed consumers becoming more conscientious about buying local and Australian-made products. Consumers are showing more support for our Australian growers and value-added products, which aids in developing a strong and vibrant industry for future generations to come.
Christine says, ‘We have some of the best produce in the world right on our doorstep and it just makes sense to me that consumers would crave for more locality when it comes to their food choices. Supporting their communities and helping to create an ethical and sustainable food industry by buying locally results in less food miles, with more of the profits going back to the growers and our towns. Shopping locally strengthens the local job scene, allows you to gain more nutritional value from your food, grows the agri-tourism industry and encourages people to experience a genuine food movement. I personally believe my gourmet products resonate with so many folks because they can take home a small-batch food memory from a weekend well spent immersing into a healthy country lifestyle. The Southern Forests are filled with wholesome produce, products, and food experiences that tourists can purchase and take home to share at their table.’
Photos by Jessica Liebregts Photography for The Pickled Wife, additional photography by The Pickled Wife.