Ten Pantry Essentials to Elevate Your Cooking

Winter is coming. It’s time to stock your pantry for the delicious, cozy meals ahead.

Earlier this month we launched Farmers’ Pantry to help you select a mix of essentials and unique ingredients for fun and inspired cooking. Here are the amazing products we’ve shared thus far. Stay tuned via Facebook and Instagram for more spotlights in coming weeks.


Pantry staples are simple, versatile items used in everyday cooking, with a long shelf life. Here are five classic ingredients we think belong in every pantry:

Balsamic Vinegar: Every pantry needs a really good balsamic vinegar for drizzling over salads and using in glazes and marinades. We love everything by Ritrovo (their fruit balsamics are DELICIOUS), but we consider their aged balsamic a pantry staple. If you prefer a thicker, more syrupy balsamic, try the organic version!




Cider Vinegar: This raw, unfiltered cider vinegar by Fable Farm Fermentory is made from wild foraged apples and aged five years in barrel (plus three years in bottle). It’s way more flavorful than ordinary cider vinegar and jam-packed with health-promoting properties. To be enjoyed on its own, as a finishing vinegar, or added to dressings and dishes.




Pesto: Fresh Basil Pesto from Seggiano is handmade in small batches using fresh Ligurian basil from Italy. The basil is preserved in olive oil within hours of harvesting. Pesto is great in salad dressings, as a sandwich spread, in pasta dishes, and as a sauce or garnish.





Dried Soup Mixes: These dried soup mixes from Frontier Soups are the foundation of a complete meal. Add a few fresh ingredients, and presto, dinner is served! There are 14 different varieties, including favorites like enchilada, broccoli cheddar, sausage & lentil, corn chowder, and split pea! All natural ingredients, no added salt or preservatives.




Olive Oil: Single-source olive oils from Greece aren’t easy to find. At the Hinaris family olive grove in southwestern Greece, handpicked olives are crushed within hours of harvesting to create The Olive Table’s fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Even if we didn’t have a personal relationship with Takkis and Dianne Hinaris, who live in Woodstock and import their products from their family grove, we’d still stock our pantries with their olive oils, because they’re absolutely delicious.



Ready to expand your flavor horizons? These five items are for the home cook who’s looking for long-lasting ingredients that will give their dishes an extra zing. 

Pepper sauce: This spicy sauce is great on everything—meats, seafood, rice and beans, Mexican dishes, and even eggs. Talk about versatile! Half Moon Bay Trading Company uses all-natural ingredients in their gourmet pepper sauces. This one is made with ginger, cumin, garlic, celery, cayenne sauce, and mustard.




Vegetable spread: Add a little heat to your favorite dishes with a spoonful of this amazing meatless salami spread by City Saucery. Made with sweet tomatoes and Calabrian chili peppers. It doesn’t take much to transform a dish! Great on just about anything—sandwiches, crackers, roasted veggies, and even pasta. Vegan and gluten free.




Chili sauce:  Los Roast’s New Mexico Chile Sauce is made with fire-roasted chile peppers that are grown and handpicked in New Mexico. Amazing in stews, chilis, Mexican dishes, soups, and dips. No preservatives, vinegar, or artificial ingredients.




Mustard: This Tarragon Dijon Mustard by Edmond Fallot is made from brown and black mustard seeds blended with fresh tarragon leaves. Use it as a dip for veggies or shrimp, in potato salad, or in chicken dishes.





White truffle oil: Also known as the connoisseur’s oil, white truffle oil elevates any dish. Regalis uses winter-harvested Italian white truffles, naturally infused with extra virgin olive oil from estate-grown California olives, to create their delectable olive oil. Delicious drizzled over pasta, risotto, mashed potatoes, eggs, and even popcorn! 

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