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May 16, 2008 11:47 AM

Must Have Products for a Well Stocked Pantry and Fridge

Further to my thread about olive oils and vinegars (


What are some other items you love to keep in your pantry, or fridge?

Things you use to cook with, snack on, sauces, pickles, pastes, bottles of, cans of..

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  1. Going by what I presently have to hand.

    Cooking oils/fats:
    Olive oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, butter, duck fat, bacon drippings, canola oil

    Yellow, brown and Dijon mustards, horseradish, mayonnaise, tahini, sour cream, soy sauce, wasabi, ketchup, hoisin, fish sauce, anchovies, sriracha, chili/garlic sauce, Trinidadian green sauce, Guyanese hot sauce, cider red wine and balsamic vinegars, piri-piri sauce, pickles, Parmesan Reggiano, a good pecorino cheese, HP sauce, Mexican hot sauce, mango achar, various chutneys, liquid honey, kimchi ...

    Herbs and spices
    Kosher and sea salts, black and green peppercorns, marjoram, oregano, basil, fennel seed, dried mint, fenugreek, black and yellow mustard seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods, saffron, whole nutmeg, whole allspice, whole cloves, Persian yogurt seasoning, Lalah's brand Madras curry powder, Lester's Montreal steak spice, turmeric, coriander seed, real vanilla extract, dried parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, Keen's dry mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, Hungarian paprika, cayenne, dried chives, cumin, celery seed, dried tarragon, white sesame seed, dried red chiles; fresh garlic, ginger, bird's-eye chilies and jlapenos; Old Bay seasoning, liquid smoke, 5 spice powder ...

    Whole wheat, unbleached white, gram and tipo 00 flours; corn meal, dry active yeast, baking soda, baking powder, corn starch, bread crumbs, Dutch cocoa ...

    Grains and products:
    Various Italian pastas, various Asian noodles, brown rice, basmati rice, arborio rice, kamut, bulgur, kasha, quinoa, pot barley, rolled oats, couscous ...

    Dried legumes:
    Split green and yellow peas (for soup), various lentils (for dhals and wats), navy beans for baked beans), chickpeas (for falafel) ... I find canned versions of other beans suitable for general use

    Creamed coconut, dried kelp, nori, bonito flakes, dried shiitake mushrooms ...

    4 Replies
    1. re: mrbozo

      Boy, if you could love a man for his pantry alone....!

      For the OP, I would add to mrbozo's comprehensive list what my husband always makes sure we have on hand to snack on:

      jerky, world's biggest cashews, pistachios, peanuts & smoked or marcona almonds; stuffed olives ( jalapeno, blue cheese, garlic, hot pepper); popcorns of all types; hot & medium salsas, chips, chips & more chips

      My additions as a cook: cans of tuna, smoked oysters & mussels, lipton's onion soup mix, taco packets, cans of whole, diced & crushed tomatoes, garlic cloves, shallots & onions, cans of artichoke hearts, fruit ( crushed & sliced pineapple, mandarin oranges) panko breadcrumbs, dried fruit to bake with ( cherries, figs, raisins, cranberries, etc) jello pudding & gelatin mixes ( we have little kids!) graham crackers, ritz & saltine crackers, Carr's for the cheese & a small can of crisco.

      And the fridge... always have baby dill pickles, wedges of bleu, parm-reg & pec-romano cheeses, along with sharp cheddar & feta, salami, serrano ham or a good pate.

      I'm sure I'm forgetting some things...Good luck!

      1. re: Phurstluv

        Some great ideas here too, I never thought of getting a bunch of different kinds of stuffed olives, I bet we'd love them! Also love pates, I swear I'm gonna try to make one soon, I have the terrine... hehe

      2. re: mrbozo

        daym! How do you keep all that stuff fresh?? :) My pantry used to look like that until I realized how old stuff was getting. Now I cut back and try to think of a few things to cook with each thing so I don't throw out bagfulls of stuff. ie: that huge bag of indian flour I swore I was going to use!

        Some great stuff in here I haven't thought of stocking, I'm going to make some notes... I also stock a pile of lentils, I loooove my dahls!

        1. re: SocksManly

          A have an herb garden and the I buy my dried herbs in small quantities. For me the key is not to over-purchase. Bulk bargains are tempting and make sense for things like rice, canned beans (and some other goods), and meat if you have the freezer space. The perception seems to be that buying smaller amounts is not cost-effective. Maybe so, but weigh the cost against the stuff that was purchased in bulk that gets thrown out.

          Condiments I keep in the fridge.

          I regularly use herbs and spices in my cooking (flavour makes the world go 'round). I also shop daily or every couple of days for fresh produce and meat (again, smaller quantities in order to avoid spoilage and waste).

      3. Miso (white or yellow), Thai green and red curries, tomato paste in a tube, jerk spice seasoning, peanut butter, plain yogurt, sour cream, butter, cream, Worchestershire sauce, fish sauce, mirin, soy sauce, tabasco, mayonaise, tamarind sauce, etc....