If there’s one thing we’ve learned at Milk Street, it’s that the pantry is absolutely everything. People around the world cook out of their pantry because these items have big flavor, which means you’re cooking faster and simpler and you end up with great bold dishes. These are the 5 items we think you should always have in your pantry.

Pre-prepped grocery store jarred garlics are typically raw—so they won’t speed up the process much—and often taste bitter and harsh, or lack flavor altogether. Enter: Milk Street Premium Essentials Garlic Confit, which features more than a whole head of garlic in every jar. To make it, we simmered delicate slivers of garlic with herbs and spices in a creamy blend of extra-virgin olive oil and buttery Indian ghee. First, you taste the rich, rounded garlic—slow-cooked and tender. Then, the bright tinge of lemon followed by the aromatics steeped in the confit’s silky oil: warming, earthy bay leaf and fruity Aleppo pepper with a hint of heat. This complex mélange of flavors is bold enough to stand alone, but it also easily blends into all kinds of savory dishes and cuisines.

Rarely have we seen a mango puree in supermarkets and, if we do, it’s often full of sweeteners and additives. Made from Alphonso mangoes, which are renowned in India for their natural sweetness and buttery-smooth texture, this puree contains no added sugar or preservatives—it’s just pure, juicy mango. About five fresh mangos are packed into every jar of this luscious puree and its silky texture is pourable, yet decadent like yogurt, and has a rich, bright flavor that balances sweet and tart, akin to snacking on refreshing mangoes at their peak season.

We created our sofrito to be the perfect building block to cook a wide variety of recipes in less time, based on the tradition of Italian and Spanish grandmothers who make this by the jar to simplify cooking and boost flavor. After much testing, we came up with an aromatic base of sautéed onions, carrots and celery, complemented by the bright tones of tomatoes, white wine and vinegar. For additional depth, it has earthy, umami notes from mushroom powder, aromatic notes of rosemary and thyme, and just a hint of heat from black pepper and Kashmiri chili powder. A few tablespoons of this jammy sofrito is all it takes to spread rich, concentrated power into soups, sauces, stews, braises and nearly anything else that needs a boost of big flavor.

Megachef Oyster Sauce is made with premium oysters that are harvested off the Gulf of Thailand and smoked over hardwood for a deeper flavor and smoky, grilled aroma. We love its complex yet clean flavor: robust and savory, slightly briny and almost sweet. Although it's prepared by cooking down oysters until their juices caramelize, this sauce does not taste like oysters; rather, it has a molasses-like richness and sweet, savory and umami flavor that's slightly similar to soy sauce. Megachef's version has no added artificial flavors or colors—in contrast, even high-quality brands tend to augment their oyster sauce with ingredients like MSG and caramel coloring, resulting in an artificial taste.
Casablanca Market's preserved lemons have a bright, balanced flavor and they aren't overly salty or bitter like some brands. We like that they add a bold, piquant kick to dishes without being too sour, and their tender texture is perfect for chopping finely and incorporating into recipes. These are prepared from aromatic beldi lemons grown in Taroudant, a town in southern Morocco, by a community-based and women-run business. Traditionally, preserved lemon is added to Moroccan stews to sharpen spices and cut through rich flavors. Or it can be added to pilafs or bean dishes--especially good with lentils--as the lemon’s briny, piquant bite helps brighten up starchy grains.
5 Game Changing Pantry Items Pantry Milk Street
These 5 pantry items are staples around the Milk Street kitchen—they’re easy to use, always ready to go and deeply flavorful. We are happy to offer all 5 of these staples for 25% off.

We rely on our go-to pantry products to pack serious flavor with no additives and high-quality ingredients. It’s fast way to cook without skimping on flavor; rather than the old-school method of long, intricate recipes with a dozen flavor-building steps, we can confidently whip up bold, flavorful meals just a handful of ready-to-go ingredients and very little time. Start to change the way you cook with any of the pantry items in this collection.


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