NewsBlack History Month

Detroit couple's family recipe coined 'Culture in a jar' is a one-of-a-kind condiment called Cha Cha

Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-24 23:22:58-05

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — “Culture in a jar,” said Edward Pruitt, Co-owner of Cha Cha.

When people migrated from the south to the north. They brought all their different recipes and one of those was Cha Cha.

“It’s all vegetables. We would make Cha Cha every fall, we would crank it by hand,” said Edward.

It’s a relish condiment sauce.

“Well, you can eat it with greens, kale, cabbages, corn, eggs, hotdogs, hamburgers, tacos burritos, tuna salad, chicken, baked beans, shrimp, fish. So, in other words, it goes with just about anything,” said Edward.

Ed and Linda Pruitt love the tradition of taking fresh vegetables and turning them into the pickle condiment called Cha Cha. Cha Cha is authentically African American cuisine but more importantly to the couple is preserving Ed’s late mothers' recipe.

For years they were content making the recipe in their kitchen until a college class inspired the couple to turn Cha Cha into a family business.

“I was like, I know what I’m going to do, start a business in poundcake. I told my husband what I wanted to do, and he was like no you need to make my mother’s Cha Cha recipe,” said Linda.

Mrs. Pruitt ‘s gourmet Cha Cha is the first commercially produced Cha Cha in the city of Detroit, now being made at Feast Detroit’s commercial kitchens.

The Pruitts have been spreading the word on Cha Cha with tastings and demos.

"It enhances the flavoring of whatever you’re eating. It really pumps it up."

Taking a major step forward by getting it on the shelves at Meijer stores.

“I am so excited to see Mrs. Pruitt's Cha Cha in all the Meijer stores in five states,” said Linda."Our heritage should not be left behind."

Mrs. Pruitt’s recipe can be traced back to the early 1800s.

“Cha Cha means nothing ever wasted,” said Linda. “They had nothing, they wasted nothing.”

Ed’s mother who passed away at the age of 95 considered the recipe her legacy.

"She would be proud, I know that."

Bringing the flavor of history and her life to a store shelf.

"We have to tell the story about Cha Cha and its rich history."

“Cha Cha from now,” said Edward as he waved goodbye.