Casa Corneli Organic Castelluccio Lentils
Italian producer Casa Corneli's Castelluccio lentils are a delicate, complexly flavored local varietal from Umbria that cook up plump and tender, with an earthy, sweet and light woodsy taste that's far superior to supermarket varieties. We love how they have just enough bite to them and retain their shape when properly cooked: They're not as mushy as regular brown lentils but also less papery than most green lentils. Try these exceptional lentils in salads or brothy soups to take advantage of their texture.
Bacalaos Alkorta Cod Fillets in Olive Oil
Wild cod fillets, sourced from the pristine northeastern reaches of the Atlantic Ocean, are gently poached in olive oil until they are tender and flaky—but never mushy. We love their sweet, succulent flavor: Even though no butter goes into their preparation, the fillets have a buttery richness you won't find in other preserved (or even fresh) cod. Family-run company Bacalaos Alkorta, based on the Basque coast of Spain, packs them in high-quality olive oil that gives the usually lean fish a wonderful lusciousness and imparts distinct grassy-fruity notes. Try these cod fillets as an upgrade to canned tuna in any recipe, but especially for niçoise salads and pasta—cod is both a lighter-tasting option, as it has a more delicate flavor than tuna, as well as a richer option thanks to the silky olive oil. Or make a simple and delicious open-faced sandwich: Spread a few forkfuls of cod on a hearty rye or baguette with a sprinkle of salt, chopped fresh herbs, a splash of lemon juice and peppery shaved radish.
Maria Grammatico Pasticceria Estratto Di Pomodoro Tomato Paste
Dense, glossy and intensely fruity, this may be the most potent tomato paste we’ve ever tasted. Add it judiciously to pasta sauces, braises and soup for robust body. We can eat this stuff straight from a spoon. Conveniently packaged in a resealable jar, it will last indefinitely in the refrigerator.
La Nicchia Zibibbo Grape Elixir
Grown in the rich volcanic soil on the Sicilian island of Pantelleria, sweet and tangy Zibibbo grapes are traditionally used to produce raisins and dessert wine, but this rich, rosy-hued syrup distills the fruit’s distinctive taste into an easy-to-use, yet elegant format. The grapes are cooked down into a viscous reduction with just a bit of sugar, eventually yielding the drizzly consistency of maple syrup and a balanced flavor similar to that of honey spooned over quince paste or dried figs—fruity-sweet and tangy with delicate floral notes throughout.
Pojer and Sandri White Wine Vinegar
We love this white wine vinegar for its sweet aroma and bright acidity. The light, bright flavor and pleasant minerality of this white wine vinegar is best highlighted in a crisp vinaigrette, or you can use to quick-pickle vegetables, as in our Herbed Egg Salad with Pickled Red Onion, inspired by a cooking lesson from Deborah Madison.