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Aug 27, 2012 10:46 AM

What is in your Pantry that was not in your Mom`s?

Recently a post was the reverse and it got me thinking about the items in my pantry that were not in my Mom's. I'm sure we have much more in our pantry and as well much more imported goods. So what is in your pantry that was not in your Mom's? Panko breadcrumbs were definitely not in my Mom's but they are in mine.

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  1. Hmm; I actually have many similar items. I suppose that all the Goya goods that I have (tuna stuffed olives, Adobo, sliced jalapenos) would be absent in Mom's. I also keep on hand heavy cream and unsweetened coconut, which Mom never had (not pantry, but still).

    1. Far more spices and herbs. Fresh herbs. Brown eggs. Greek yogurt. Pre packaged breadcrumbs of any type. Pumpkin butter. Irish butter. A Kitchenaid. A lemongrass plant. Wine and liquor. Coffee BEANS. Just to name a few :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: HillJ

        Came to me while using it yesterday .......pomegranate molasses.

      2. Re pantry - do fridge items count? Irish butter - do you mean Kerrygold? is very common here but I must say I do love French butter now, esp. the salted ones - sel de guerande preferable. I can't even remember her having butter on a regular basis; it was always margarine......yuck. Think she only bought butter for dinner parties or if we had someone to stay who baked, like my grandmother, or if my mother was going to bake something special, which she hardly ever did.

        Plain yogurt, which includes greek yogurt. Far more cheese than she ever had.

        Brown eggs in the UK are the norm. White ones are goose or duck eggs. You can even get blue ones now. I don't refrigerate my eggs, unlike my mother.

        More nuts other than macadamia. She always had those. I don't because they are really expensive here. I have pecans, almonds, hazelnuts and pine nuts. I use mine for baking and salads; hers were for snacks with drinks.

        Farro, risotto rice, japanese sticky rice, basmati rice.

        Bizzarely my mother often had fresh basil in the summer anyway, and used to put it in green salads, esp. the purple kind.

        Chutney, and various chili sauces.

        17 Replies
        1. re: cathodetube

          I have a cold chest in my pantry that's why I included butter and yogurt. My Mom thought that brown eggs were odd so she never bought them. She did have a backyard garden but kept to very safe selections. The biggest diff btwn my pantry and one my Mom kept can be summed up in a word: safe vs. curious. HillJ being the more adventurous one.

          1. re: HillJ

            I think a lot of North Americans think brown eggs are odd, like they are dirty or something! I grew up with white eggs over there but there isn't the choice here, so I know regard white ones as peculiar. My kitchen is extremely cool and I can leave vegetables out in the winter for a few days and they don't spoil.

            1. re: cathodetube

              I actually think most Americans regard brown eggs as an egg that is both more healthy and somehow more organic than regular white eggs. Obviously, there is no difference in the eggs, just the breed of chickens. Any egg differences other than the color of the eggshell are because of the feed the hen eats.

              1. re: John E.

                My Mom never could explain what she had against buying or using brown eyes, it was just her quirk. I love all eggs.

                1. re: HillJ

                  Apparently the only reason for white eggs in the U.S. is that the white leghorn chicken is slightly smaller and more feed efficient than the Rhode Island Red which lays brown eggs. I have a cousin with a henhouse and she sometimes brings over eggs that are white, brown, pale green, and pale blue.

                2. re: John E.

                  My DH is very suspicious of brown eggs. I have no idea why. We usually only get them when were in St Lucia - where the egg carton contains an interesting variety of sizes and colors of eggs. They are so much more delicsious that what I get here at home. :)

              2. re: HillJ

                What is a cold chest? A lot of old English houses were built with a pantry on the north wall. They had marble shelves and tiled floors. Have stayed in many houses like that.

                1. re: cathodetube

                  It looks like a wine cabinet except the shelving is set up differently. The exterior is stainless steel and the interior is stainless steel and fiberglass. I can adjust the shelves, the temp and move it around on casters. Items go in there that need to come to room temp quicker for me or just do better in cool but not cold space. My home is full sun, lots of windows and I have a sun room off the kitchen area so I have a difficult time keeping some items out for a prolonged period of time.

                2. re: HillJ

                  Am I the only one who remembers the jingle? "Brown eggs are local eggs--and local eggs are fresh!"

                  My mom doesn't lack for much in the pantry, but she doesn't have:
                  Liquid Smoke
                  Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

                  But thanks to her, I do have Italian baking powder in mine! Oh, and powdered buttermilk, but that goes in the fridge. Thanks, ma!

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    "Brown eggs are local eggs--and local eggs are fresh!"

                    Only because of my best friends had a summer home in Cape Cod and we ate alot of eggs on our merger gal pal summer budget.

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Italian baking powder, what is the brand, would like to look for it here.

                      1. re: Ruthie789

                        Ah, you're in Montreal. You may be able to find it in an Italian market or ask them to stock it (that's what my mom did in our local shop). If not, try here:

                        It's for sweets and has vanilla in it, so remember to use your regular BP for savory purposes. :)

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          Thank you. We have many Italian markets so I will now look out for that. I like to bake so baking powder with vanilla is interesting to me. Thank you.

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            Hi Kattyeyes, I was able to purchase the baking powder with vanilla. I now need to know how to use it as instructions are all in Italian. It seems that the package is good for 500 gms of flour. How much of it replaces 1 teaspoon of regular baking powder or how do you use it? As well the store also had sachets of vanilla essence only without the leavener. I will definitely be baking this weekend!

                            1. re: Ruthie789

                              Hi, Ruthie--that's excellent! :) I use it one for one (so 1 tsp. = 1 tsp.) in ALL my sweets--brownies, cookies, cakes! Buon appetito!

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                Thank you will be doing some baking this weekend!

                        2. re: kattyeyes

                          One more: bitter almond--a must for all almond lovers as it amplifies almond flavor with intensity. I only discovered it this year, but it's on my mind as I used it this morning in my gelato custard. REMEMBER: DO NOT, NOT, NOT lick the spoon afterwards. Talk about burn, baby, burn!

                          More info on bitter almond here:

                    2. Dried beans, brown rice, whole spices, whole dried chiles, bread flour, vinegars other than white and cider, chipotles in adobo, many different hot sauces.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: AmyH

                        I should have added many bottles and jars of Asian ingredients like kecap manis, black vinegar, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, kochujang, etc. Coconut milk, frozen banana leaves, aji amarillo, aji rojo picante, korean pepper, chuno, dried Asian mushrooms, various flours (rye, chickpea, etc).

                        1. re: AmyH

                          +1. Soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha.

                      2. Since my Mom didn't do a LOT of experimenting with cooking, I'd say 3/4 of what's in my pantry was not in my parents' pantry. Then again, Dad always had sake in the house, and I don't. Then again, I have cognac, they didn't. :-) Things in my pantry that wasn't in my parents' kitchen cabinets:

                        Spices/herbs - I easily have 4x the amount Mom did - dried lavender and Aleppo pepper are two that weren't available when I was growing up - nor would Mom have used them.

                        Condiments - Sriracha sauce, white wine Worcestershire sauce, a large assortment of whole grain/imported mustards (just Gulden's brown when I was growing up, and maybe Dijon when I was a bit older), champagne vinegar, olive oil (I think we used only vegetable or canola oil growing up).

                        Dry goods - Israeli couscous, orzo, basmati & jasmine rices, coffee beans (as HillJ said above). The Panko crumbs that the OP mentioned - although my Mom now like Panko for topping mac & cheese, thanks to me. :-)

                        I'm sure there are more, but those are what come to top of mind as I sit here at work. :-)