From wallet-friendly to pricey, we’ve found something tasty for every gourmet!
When it comes to food, you and your mate may not see eye to eye, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stock a well equipped pantry full of gourmet goodies. Whether both of your incomes are in the six figures, or whether you are working with a substantially smaller budget, you can have big tastes without breaking the bank, or splurge on something extra special, indeed!
Pricey (and tasty) Gourmet Items:
- White Truffles: These delectable fungi are sought after by nearly every chef on the planet for their exceptionally woodsy taste and sheer elegance. Expect to pay quite a bit of money for a morsel of this gourmet gold. You can find these edible gems in specialty shops and top-notch vegetable stores. (Especially look for ones that come from northern Italy.) White Truffles: $1350 - $2700 per pound – most people only need a few grams.
- Beautiful Balsamic: Push aside those cheaply concocted grocery store brands, and you’ll find a whole world of balsamics that are comparable only to fine wine. True balsamics can only come from Modena or Reggio, Italy, which means that all other balsamics are mere imposters. Balsamics that have been aged for many years are thick, sweet, and succulent. Pour a nicely aged balsamic over vanilla ice cream for a truly magnificent summer’s delight! Balsamics: $35 - $250 (aged )
Affordable and Delightful:
- Salts: Are you using mere table salt to season all your meals? If so, it’s time to put that generic salt shaker down, and discover the world of super salts. There are literally hundreds of salts found throughout the earth that will pack a lot of prime flavor into every meal that you create. Look for salts that have been infused with scintillating smoky flavour or salts that have been soaked in chardonnays and merlots. (Yes, they exist! And they are fabulous!) Salt: $8 - $30 per jar depending upon the region it comes from.
- Olive Oil: While a great olive oil can turn a mediocre meal into a masterpiece, a cheap olive oil can ruin even the most delectable pasta dish. Look for extra virgin olive oils that come from Italy, Spain, or Greece. If you are looking to save some cash, buy family sized bottles, but just make sure to store your oil in a glass jar that is kept away from the light. Olive Oil: $30 - $70
Amazingly Adaptable Ingredients:
- Jarred, Canned, and Bottled: Spend an afternoon browsing the shelves of any food store in search of great jarred, canned, and bottled goods. Scour shelves for home made pepper jellies; pestos; and marinated vegetables. All of these items can be turned into something else – pepper jelly can be made into a fine glaze when mixed with wine, stock, olive oil, and vinegar. Marinated veggies are perfect when creating interesting salads. Jarred, Canned, Bottled: $6-$8 per jar of jam or jelly. Most things in a jar you can get for around $8 - $10.
- Fresh Spices: Everyone can purchase some amount of fresh spice. There is simply no comparison when you add a fresh spice to a dish in place of a dried one. Start with the basics (nutmeg, rosemary, oregano), and build up your collection slowly. If you want to keep your spices fresher longer, you can either dry them whole (crush only when you use them), or freeze pieces of spice inside of an ice cube try filled with water (defrost when needed). Fresh Spices: $1 - $3 per bunch in season (right now), though more exotic spice will be a bit more expensive.