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Stocking Your Pantry - the Art of Good Eating
In his book, Culinary Intelligence (Knopf, 2012), Peter Kaminsky talks about what ingredients he always has in his pantry at home in order to maximize what he calls his FPC, or “Flavor per Calorie,” Index. Having his pantry well stocked is his favorite way to help ensure he’s able, at any time of the day or night, to cook just about anything and have it come out at least good, if not excellent – and worthwhile eating is his main goal. You see, Peter had a theory: If you focus on excellent flavor, not only will you eat less, because it will cost you more and therefore you will purchase less, but you will be more satisfied with your eating or dining experience in the end.

I could not agree with Peter more. While Peter’s list has a mix of fresh and shelf-stable items, it got me thinking about what’s in my essential pantry, and why. So, I decided to compile a list of my own, and share it with all of you. I call it, “Eliza’s Essential Pantry”. It includes all the “basic” ingredients, mostly shelf stable, which I have in my pantry all the time, and also which I find I can no longer live (or cook) without. It’s not that I use all these ingredients in all my dishes all the time, but I do find that having them around makes cooking well much easier – especially those spontaneous meal you have to cook at the last minute. Also, with these ingredients in my pantry (or anyone else’s pantry, for that matter) I’m ready to rock’n roll at any time of the day or night.

For the complete article, my thoughts about why each of these ingredients is in my Essential Patry, and a list of what is "most essential" from this long list, click here.
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