Here's Why You Need These Seven Odd Kitchen Ingredients

I have literally, I believe, never gone into the kitchen to make something (with the exception of toast, and sometimes even then), that did not use one of these seven things.

Frankies olive oil. Is there another olive oil? I have no idea. I would drink this. I kind of have.

Katz and Co. Vinegar. Today, in things that I would drink that shouldn’t be drank. Start with the apple cider, graduate to the sauvignon blanc. I mean it is basically a delicious beverage.

Maniguette. We call it guinea pepper, but that’s a vague name that applies to lots of non-pepper peppers. Aframomum melegueta! Also called “grains of paradise”! Native to West Africa! In the ginger family! I have hated pepper most of my life. Pepper is too, hmm, I guess I’d say “front-loaded” for me? Too bitey? This is a slow, slightly burn-ey pepper taste. It’s delicious. (Makes tuna salad exciting, as the commercials used to say.)

Cake Flour. Tired of baking the same thing with predictable results? (Yeah me neither. My baking is hideously unpredictable.) But for kicks, just swap in cake flour for your regular flour. 1 out of 5 times it’ll be a horrible disaster. The rest of the time, it’ll be great and soft and delicious. I have a soft spot for King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour. (Often cake flour is bleached like a, like a, um, yellow tooth, I guess, which can do delightful things to flour, in making it soft and silky, but seems kinda gross.) This flour does great things to my favorite recipe for German pancakes.

India Tree Dark Muscovado. Unrefined brown sugar is something Americans don’t use a lot, but if you use English recipes, they’ll be asking for it all the time. (Seriously, shut up, Nigella!) I even put it in my coffee, which is…

Scarlet City’s Doubleplusgood Blend. I have literally never had a better cup of coffee. No joke.

Pomegranate Molasses. There’s probably some gourmet and organic brand of this now, but I use the old stuff you find in the fun foreigner shops. (While you’re there: get tamarind paste too.) What do you do with it? It goes in everything. Like I put it in pasta sauces. You put it on pork. You add it to barbecue sauces. Wherever anything needs something slightly tangy and slightly sweet, ta da.

There. The more you know. Oh also probably onions and garlic, but you knew that.

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