Soom Premium Tahini
Many supermarket tahinis are over-roasted, which gives them an unpleasant, bitter flavor. They are also too thick and hard to stir into a creamy blend. Soom's tahini has a full, nutty flavor as well as a pourable and well-balanced texture, made from single-origin white sesame seeds from northwestern Ethiopia that have an ideal oil-to-protein ratio.
Casablanca Market Preserved Lemons from Morocco
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.
Namikura Kyoto-Style White Miso
Savory, sweet and flavor-dense, white miso is an absolutely essential pantry item. Winey-sweet, buttery and deeply rich, this organic version from Japanese family producer Namikura Miso Co. is more complex and less salty than other brands, which means it can be used more freely with soy sauce without dishes tasting overly seasoned.
Bachan's Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce
Unlike grocery-store teriyaki sauces that include artificial preservatives or sweeteners, Bachan's uses only fresh, natural ingredients in its Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce. Authentic Japanese shoyu—soy sauce made with wheat—provides an umami flavor base, while cane sugar and mirin add the signature complementary sweetness. Bachan's also layers green onion, ginger and garlic, which add aromatic complexity and ground the sauce in earthy, savory notes. In a nod to Western barbecue sauce, the secret recipe also includes tomato paste, which adds a nuanced, natural fruitiness and thickens the sauce. Unlike grocery-store teriyaki sauces that include artificial preservatives or sweeteners, Bachan's uses only fresh, natural ingredients in its Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce. Authentic Japanese shoyu—soy sauce made with wheat—provides an umami flavor base, while cane sugar and mirin add the signature complementary sweetness. Bachan's also layers green onion, ginger and garlic, which add aromatic complexity and ground the sauce in earthy, savory notes. In a nod to Western barbecue sauce, the secret recipe also includes tomato paste, which adds a nuanced, natural fruitiness and thickens the sauce. Plus, this umami-packed sauce is now available gluten free.
Original Ingredients: Non-GMO soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), cane sugar, mirin (water, rice, koji seed, sea salt), tomato paste, organic ginger, green onion, organic rice vinegar, organic garlic, sea salt, organic toasted sesame oil
Original Allergens: Contains wheat, soy
Gluten-Free Ingredients: Non-GMO Tamari Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Salt, Sugar), Cane Sugar, Mirin (Water, Rice, Koji Seed, Sea Salt), Tomato Paste, Organic Ginger, Green Onion, Organic Rice Vinegar, Organic Garlic, Sea Salt, Organic Toasted Sesame Oil
Gluten-Free Allergens: Contains soy
Net Weight: 16 ounces
Il Colle Del Gusto Sicilian Pistachio Spread
Made from Sicilian pistachios and extra-virgin olive oil, Pistacchiosa is a creamy, aromatic spread you will want to put on all your desserts and, yes, eat straight out of the jar.
BLiS Gourmet Barrel Aged Fish Sauce
This bourbon barrel-aged fish sauce is mellowed by seven months of sitting in oak, so the earthy, meaty funk that one expects from any fermented fish product is beautifully balanced by a complementary sweetness. BLiS's product is also rounded out with soft notes imparted by the seven-month aging process: warming spices, vanilla, and fruit woods, as well as a subtle smoky depth.
Little Apple Treats Original Apple Cider Vinegar
Produced from hand-picked apples, not the low-grade and windfall apples most companies use, and aged in oak barrels for two years before bottling, Little Apple Treats cider is bright and sharp, with a bold apple flavor and subtle caramel tones contributed by the barrel aging. This is the best American apple cider vinegar we’ve tasted, every bit on par with the fancy, expensive French stuff from Normandy.
Pic's Crunchy Peanut Butter
Fans of chunky peanut butter will love this version from New Zealand. Whereas many chunky peanut butters are just smooth peanut butter with occasional nut pieces, the New Zealand brand has a full mouthfeel, with the right ratio of plentiful crunchy bits to smooth butter for a satisfying consistency with every bite. It also boasts a shelf stability up to 10 times greater than regular peanut butter. And the peanut butter itself is always made without any added sugar, oil or emulsifiers, so the peanut flavor comes through clearly in both sweet and savory recipes.
Il Colle Del Gusto Hazelnut Spread with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Il Colle del Gusto's hazelnut spreads are lighter, glossier and more aromatic versions of Nutella. With a high hazelnut content of up to 42%, they are made using local, high-quality roasted nuts from Italy, which have a toasty, buttery flavor, light sweetness and earthy depth.
Pic's Smooth Peanut Butter
Pic’s Peanut Butter works equally well for classic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as it does for baking and cooking. Choose between salted or unsalted—even the salted version has only half the salt of comparable brands. And while not impervious to separating, we find the peanut butter comes together quickly with just a stir or two, as opposed to the vigorous blending required with other versions. It also boasts a shelf stability up to 10 times greater than regular peanut butter. And the peanut butter itself is always made without any added sugar, oil or emulsifiers, so the peanut flavor comes through clearly in both sweet and savory recipes.
Namikura Red Miso
Red Miso is stronger, saltier and more assertively flavored than yellow or white miso due to its six-month aging process and has a higher proportion of soybeans for a richer taste. This particularly interesting version has sweet flavors reminiscent of sherry and milk chocolate that are perfect for pairing with red meat and other robust dishes.
Villa Real Hot Chocolate with Almond
This hot chocolate has only a few raw ingredients, yet the beverage has a wonderful depth and warmth, as well as a complex flavor: creamy, nutty and perfectly balanced between bitter and sweet. The addition of ground almonds makes for a silkier, buttery mouthfeel, especially if you whisk the milk constantly while heating it; this allows the nutty aroma of the almonds to permeate the drink for a richer sensation and fullness of flavor. And cinnamon, a defining feature of Mexican hot chocolate, is an ideal complement for cacao's bitter undertones, as its spicy aroma brightens hot chocolate while its floral accents match those in the drink. We also like how the warming spice cuts through the creamy milk so the drink is satisfying but not overly rich. We found this chocolate to a fragrant finish that is slightly reminiscent of coconut.
Hotaru Foods Yuzu Mayonnaise
While most mayonnaise is made with vinegar, Hotaru Foods uses 100% yuzu juice as its acid of choice, which adds a bright, citrusy kick and subtle sweetness reminiscent of Kewpie mayonnaise, a Japanese favorite. We especially like to pair it with seafood, which doesn't need its usual squeeze of lemon thanks to the tart yuzu flavor.
Kameya Hon Wasabi
Just because your wasabi is aggressively spicy doesn't mean it's real; in fact, most of the wasabi in Western supermarkets is regular horseradish dyed green. Popular Japanese brand Kameya makes its product with true wasabi, or Japanese horseradish, which is incredibly rare because it only grows naturally along stream beds in Japan's mountainous regions. Beneath its sinus-clearing spice, wasabi has delicate earthy and vegetal notes that give the paste a refreshing, aromatic quality. Beyond sushi, add a dab to vinaigrettes or teriyaki glazes for fish, or try a small amount in your ham and brie sandwich or on your cheese platter—there's little its spicy herbal goodness can't improve!
Net Weight: 42 grams
Place of Origin: Japan
Merula Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
When I visited Spain recently, I found that the restaurant kitchens I visited used a simple all-purpose Spanish olive oil. We spent a few months searching for a Spanish oil that was not unreasonably priced and would be good for everyday cooking. Produced from a blend of Spanish olives, Merula extra-virgin olive oil tastes fruity, balanced and bright—and lacks the throat-gripping bitterness of lesser brands. Merula’s bold flavor and rounded mouthfeel is suitable for dressings, vinaigrettes, sauces and most sautéing. The convenient 500-milliliter can keeps light out and preserves freshness.
Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Kosher Sea Salt
Jacobsen Salt Co.’s Pure Kosher Sea Salt is wonderful as a finishing salt—but it can do so much more. It has a smaller grain than the company's signature flaky sea salt, which makes it a perfect go-to alternative for table salt in recipes: It weighs just a tad less than table salt, so the volumes are almost equivalent, yet it's easier to pick up by hand and sprinkle into dishes than table salt (which is why all Milk Street recipes call for kosher salt). The company hand-harvests every single grain of salt from the Netarts Bay in northern Oregon, so this bright, clean-flavored sea salt has an even consistency ideal for cooking, baking or pickling, in addition to finishing sprinkles.
Zürsun Idaho Heirloom Beans Anasazi Beans
Plump but small, these heirloom Anasazi Beans about the same size as pinto beans, with a dappled maroon and cream pattern and subtly sweet, earthy flavor. They are excellent for adding creamy body to soups and stews; we especially like to treat them as pinto beans to make dips or refried beans.
Net Weight: 1.5 pounds
Place of Origin: Idaho, U.S.
Canaan Organic Fair-Trade Freekeh
Canaan's organic freekeh has a delicate, toasty aroma and an earthy, nutty taste, with subtle grassy notes from the green wheat and a satisfying chewy texture. Use this grain as you would brown rice or quinoa, for a simple side or pilaf.