In the pantry, there’s pasta and flour – and there’s you.
In the pantry, there’s pasta and flour – and there’s you: a pantry is like an unusual journey, one that always starts with a great deal of innocence.
At the start of that journey our choices are guided by imitation: on the one hand, of the infinite possibilities offered by food in its myriad shapes, origins and colours; and on the other, of influential people from the culinary world (bloggers, journalists, Auntie Ethel – who really knows how to cook).
And that’s how the naive pantry owner silently develops his first tic: hoarding. On our shelves, we rapidly accumulate samples of ingredients we’ve seen in books, on the web, at Auntie Ethel’s house (still the same aunt who really knows how to cook) like in a comedy sequence straight out of a silent movie. Next come the ingredients we’ll never use, and the pretty but extravagant ones.
As we grow up, our pantry gradually matures, we choose our ingredients more wisely and slim down our supplies. With time, we discover that all our pantry needs is a few quality essentials: a set of hard-wearing knives, which can also be used to serve pizza; saffron (in threads, not as a powder), stone-ground flour, proper risotto rice, good quality biscuits to share with our friends over a cup of tea, and some nice fresh peppercorns for the mill.
Of course, our pantry should always retain a bit of youthful flair – and that’s why we’ll still need our tin of gold leaf or a potato-peeling glove.
And sometimes, all you need in your pantry is someone to peel and share an orange with.
Guest blogger: Mariachiara Montera – www.thechefisonthetable.it