My French Pantry

Here is a list of ingredients I try to keep on hand for my alimentary pleasure, for use from basic seasoning to last-minute flourishes.

Dry Goods

Baking powder 

Baking soda 

Beans – black, pinto, white (lingots, tarbais, or cannellini)

Chipotle chilis in adobo – sent in care packages from home

Coconut milk

Curry pastes – green;red

Fish sauce

Flour – unbleached all-purpose, whole wheat

Granola – I like the kind with chocolate bits in it 

Honey – one plain; one with some character

Nuts – for snacking or garnishing 

Oils – Olive (Spanish extra-virgin), Peanut, Sesame, Sunflower (or other fairly neutral vegetable oil) 

Pasta – variety of shapes 

Peanut butter

Pepper – black (whole peppercorns for grinding fresh – there is no other way);  ground cayenne; ground white; red chili flakes

Popcorn – or, more specifically, “popping corn”

Rice – brown; wild; long-grain white; basmati or jasmine; arborio

Salt – sel gros de Camargue (basically one small step below fleur de sel, but much cheaper)

Sesame seeds

Spices – Cinnamon (ground and whole); Cloves (whole); Cumin (ground); Curry powder

Sriracha chili sauce – a little goes a long way

Sugar – granulated; turbinado/cassonade

Tomato products – diced; purée; whole peeled

Vinegars – Balsamic; Chinese black; Cider; Rice; Sherry

Wine – red; white; sparkling

Yeast – instant/rapid-rise


Butter – unsalted; with grains of fleur de sel for spreading on bread

Cheese – hard grating (Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano) ; fresh goat; Swiss-style (Emmenthal, Gruyère, Comté); blue

Cream – fresh, not UHT, preferably without stabilizers/thickeners 

Crème fraîche 


Fromage blanc (can stand in for crème fraîche or yogurt) 

Jam/Preserves – Griotte (Morello Cherry), mixed berry or whatever strikes my fancy


Milk – whole, preferably organic, not UHT

Mustard -Dijon, obviously

Soy sauce

Yogurt – plain




Citrus – oranges; grapefruit (in season); limes; lemons 



Herbs – bay leaf, thyme, parsley (flat leaf preferred over curly, but I buy whichever smells the best at the time)

Olives – whatever looks good at the market

Onions – yellow are the best all-purpose onions

Peppers – Scotch bonnets/habaneros; long green Moroccan hot peppers; homemade roasted piqillos


Salad greens

Shallots – indispensable for vinaigrettes and pan sauces


Ice cream

Ice cubes – these seem to be something of a novelty here

Stock – Chicken; Fish; Veal

Originally published on Croque-Camille.


7 responses

27 03 2008
Frankie Picone

Nick and Camille, I am very excited about your love of food and your obvious thirst for travel. I would love to catch up and hear all about your adventures through France. Love and Prayers, your friend Frankie.

19 07 2011
Inger Wilkerson

Your ice comment made me chuckle. In a semester abroad in Ireland (many years ago), I would occasionally pop into McDonald’s to satisfy a craving for Coke with ice.

4 08 2011

Your pantry is much like mine, as well as Martha Stewarts and Nigella Lawsons. Always nice to see pantries that people who love good food have. Sans any junk (American) food.

4 08 2011

Love people who like me love a well stocked healthy pantry.

5 08 2011

Beth – Yes, a well-stocked pantry is the basis for so many delicious meals!

20 12 2011

Being curious: why would you buy ice cubes? (that’s why it sounds so much of a novelty from a French perspective). They can be home-made and the difference is null?

Else, they exist in every french households for as long as freezers exist (or longer even)

20 12 2011

Jean-Baptiste – The ice cubes are not bought, but homemade. I refer to them as a novelty because they are not nearly as prevalent in, say, glasses of water as they are in the States. As to why one would buy ice, maybe they’re having a party, and need more ice than their freezer can reasonably produce. Or they want to fill a cooler. Or they’re making blended daiqiris. Or…

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