The Pantry Staples to SPLURGE on (and the ones that maybe you shouldn’t)

These are the opinions of Brian Lagerstrom. I agree with most of it, but I’m interested to know what you think. I’m sure your opinions (like mine) depend on how and what you cook on a regular basis.

For instance, I rarely prepare Asian dishes and, although I have fish sauce in my pantry right now, the quality isn’t that important to me. Like Brian,  I use a decent, but not extravagantly-priced olive oil. I also use acceptable but inexpensive wine for cooking.

I found out a few years ago that really good canned tomatoes make a HUGE difference, and I willingly spend the extra money to buy them. I have some good vinegars, and use them frequently. If you haven’t had a fine aged Balsamic vinegar, then you should try it at least once (my opinion, of course!)

What pantry items can’t you live without, and which don’t matter as much to you?

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12 Responses to The Pantry Staples to SPLURGE on (and the ones that maybe you shouldn’t)

  1. Stella says:

    If you are wondering what I use good Balsamic vinegar on, it is usually roasted asparagus or brussels sprouts, or sauteed red cabbage. Salad too, sometimes!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Monroe says:

    Does chocolate count?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. weather257 says:

    Very informative, thanks Stella!
    Agree completely with most of his endorsements (having to minimize salt intake, tho, means Better than Bouillon is out). We do go with organic spices as well as beans and most of the other items, like olive oil. Just trying to stay away from pesticides. Tomatos is something we grow and can ourselves, which is way worth the trouble.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Stella says:

      Better than Bouillon (organic roasted chicken variety) has 700 mg of sodium per tsp, but you only use about a teaspoon in a dish that makes 4-6 servings. I do make my own chicken stock, but I have BTB on hand when I’m out of homemade. I reduce my homemade broth (unsalted) and freeze it in cubes, so I can take a cube out of the freezer and put it directly into soup, gravy or pan sauce.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. auscitizenmom says:

    Hm. Obviously not a connoisseur here.

    There are very few things I splurge on. I like to use real vanilla, chocolate, and a good natural peanut butter that has no sugar in it or oils other than peanut oil. And, I use real butter rather than margarine, which I never liked.

    I mostly use vinegar for my mother’s pickled beets (which I love), and cleaning.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The Tundra PA says:

    Wow. I just spent an hour watching this, because I had to go back after the first 5 minutes and start taking notes. So much information! And very interesting. I also don’t cook Asian food, but having a good fish sauce around would be helpful for seafood sauces. Was surprised to hear him say not to spend extra on olive oil or cooking wine. I do wish he had commented on the age of spices and when it is time to throw them out for being too old. Some of mine have been in the pantry for years. Thanks, Stella. I am a very “pedestrian” cook, unlike you and Menagerie, whom I consider gor-met!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My splurge items – must ALWAYS have in the pantry.
    Dark Cocoa Powder, a high quality one.
    A variety of Extracts, mine are mostly Watkins. I have been known to make my own tho, especially Vanilla.
    Yep….Fish Sauce! I cook mostly Oriental or Mexican foods.
    I try to keep a broad spectrum of pickles, many I make myself to ensure the flavor profiles I want.
    Dried Chilis – I grow the ones I prefer to have, then I know they aren’t old too!
    Bulk in whole seed/bark of the spices I use most….toast and freshly grind – best flavor.

    This was a good question….made me think about how little I actually depend on some commercial outlet for foodstuffs overall.
    Guess that makes me a prepper as far as Big Food/Big Ag is concerned!
    *blows raspberry!*

    Liked by 3 people

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