All food writing regarding Italy naturally puts a premium on sustainable, locavore and seasonal edibles. Yet it would be folly to think that all we eat in Italy is freshly foraged or superbly farm-to-table. Tight work schedules, growing families and occasionally being stuck at home for long stretches – whether caused by climate or illness – require a well equipped larder. Having a stash of pre-packaged foods in the pantry is not a sin. Popping open the occasional jar? Guilty as charged.

Pantru basics · www.italyfoodandwinetours.com

Fortunately, there are decent alternatives to the Italian “market-to-table” way of life. These reliable staples are conveniently available in grocery stores. Rule of thumb? Read the label. Always. The least amount of ingredients listed, the better. Avoid any that start with the letter “E” followed by a number. That’s poison. Rely instead on packaged goods derived from organic farming and made with healthy food through methods that respect our bodies and the Earth’s natural cycles. Plus boxed with minimal packaging, preferably in glass containers that can be recycled.

Pantru basics · www.italyfoodandwinetours.com

Here’s a shortlist of packaged essentials and a few worthy brands present in my cupboard.

➔ Continue reading “Stocking the Larder” as appeared on The American Magazine in Italia