I was reading through yesterday’s edition of Katha‘s “10 days, 10 lists” series (in German) as I stopped right in my tracks. In this post she writes about 10 things she always has in her pantry or fridge in Vienna, Austria. Moments ago I had already read Anke‘s list for her kitchen in Hamburg, Germany. And found it funny how different countries influence the very basics in our kitchens. So here are my 10 things that I always have in the kitchen.
1. Wine Ok, wine should never be in the kitchen (too warm!) except for its short stint in the fridge, but it is also unthinkable for me to eat without drinking wine, so it is on the list. Mostly Italian.
2. Pasta I live in Italy. Enough said? Ok, add to that: I am too lazy and dough-handicapped to make my own pasta. A mix of regular, organic, wholewheat, with egg, etc. At last count there were 18 different shapes in my pantry.
3. Risotto rice see above. Always Carnaroli, sometimes also Vialone Nano or Arborio.
4. Olive oil see above. Local and organic.
5. Butter This is not typical central Italian, but we just love it. On bread, for cooking (risotto!) and baking (bake something chocolate-y with salted butter and you’ll understand). Especially semi salted French ones that are very hard to get around here.
6. Guanciale So Roman, so unctuous, my secret weapon.
7. Garum, Colatura or sardine paste (aka something fishy). The Italian answer to fish sauce – more subdued, more elegant. Secret weapon #2
8. Olives Taggiasca, Gaeta or Sicilian.
9. Flour Regular. I used to say I am not a baker, but the last couple of years have proved me wrong. I do bake. Not bad either. I just don’t feel comfortable handling dough.
10. Canned tomatoes Italian, organic. In the winter they are better than fresh (especially after I saw the hothouses stretching to the horizon in Sicily) and give you a soup or a pasta sauce in 1 minute.
You might think where is all the fresh stuff? Vegetables, fruits, herbs? You can’t be living off of carbs and fats only! Well, we do eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, at every meal actually. But we always buy them fresh, seasonal and often very local (though not always, I admit) in the market – we go to a market around 5 times a week. So I don’t consider them things I stock in the pantry.
We also buy fish at the market, about once a week. We are not vegetarians (see 6 & 7), but a substantial piece of meat like a steak, roast or chicken etc. we buy only around once a month from our favorite butcher Annibale, often from organic and local, definitely happy animals.
What are your 10 things?
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