8 items you'd want to add to your pantry and fridge

Updated: Mar 25

Now that most of us are staying at home – and relying on takeaway and delivery – I often wonder about the contents of other people’s cupboards, pantries and refrigerators.

Did the amount and their choice of food items change, or stay the same? 🙂

“Well, we both love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, so not much has changed in the pantry and fridge,” answers Cindy Henwood, the co-group CEO and COO of Limwood Group in Singapore, which “specialises in the wholesale and retail of food and beverage products by boutique gourmet producers from around the world”. The “we” includes Phil Henwood, the company’s co-group CEO and innovation strategist.

Meet Cindy...

... and Phil

“But our freezer has never been this full!” she marvels. “With the shortages and movement restrictions, it just seems easier to purchase frozen proteins like seafood, meats, etc, so that we can have them available without having to launch an expedition to the supermarkets.”

Then again, running Limwood Gourmet – their retail channel and online shop that offers quality foods and ingredients – helps. 😊

“Truth be told, we are fortunate to represent many amazing producers through our business, so we have been consuming a fair amount of our own products (vino included!),” Cindy admits.

“As our business is classed as Essential Services (Food Supply), we are one of the fortunate ones still busy with work. Therefore, the type of meals we are preparing are those that have great flavour but require less preparation time and ingredients.”

Ideas to eat and drink

Do explore Limwood Gourmet – the site has different kinds of sauces, natural salts, olive oils and wines, just to name a few. They’re worth adding to your online grocery list and range of pantry staples, as they can help you revamp and whip up new dishes.

They are versatile and go far too, which is especially helpful in times like these. (They’ll give you a bit of variety and something to look forward to, at the very least.)

Here are some of the items that Cindy has enjoyed and found a couple of uses for. Why not test them out and surprise yourself in the kitchen?

#1 Consommé

Like the Naniwa Japanese Onion Consommé, a dashi/soup/seasoning from Osaka, Japan.

“Just add water,” Cindy suggests. “A little bit goes a long way with this concentrated powdered stock. From a little cuppa to quell those mid-afternoon hunger pangs, to jazzing up your fried rice or stir-fried vegetables, to a quick and easy stock for your hotpot”, the choices are endless.

#2 Peri Peri Sauce

Like the Minnies Mozambican Hot Peri Peri Sauce from Durban, South Africa, which is halal-certified.

“It can be great as a sauce on the side with just about anything, really. It’s also wonderful to marinate with! Chicken goes super well with it,” she notes. But so do other meats, so don’t limit yourself. 😊

#3 Pasta sauce

Like the Agromonte Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce from Sicily, Italy. “This is naturally low in sugar at just 5.6g per serving,” she states.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Italian pasta sauces in the market, but Agromonte makes theirs from 100% cherry tomatoes, hence the natural sweetness. It’s fantastic for its named purpose, but it’s also wonderful as a pizza base sauce, as something to jazz up a tomato soup, and as a little cheat for Chicken Marinara!”

The secret is in the cherry tomatoes

#4 Balsamic vinegar

Like the Pukara Estate Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar from Hunter Valley, Australia.

“This is our best-selling, naturally-flavoured balsamic vinegar,” Cindy relates. The brand recommends using it with extra virgin olive oil for a salad dressing, as a glaze for meat dishes, to flavour root vegetables, and to accompany your barbecues.

#5 Rosé

Like the Dosterras Santa Rosa from Tarragona, Spain.

“Now this one’s for the soul,” Cindy muses.

“It’s a stunning rosé. You know how some rosés are just all colour, but basically taste like a white wine or not much at all, really? This one’s filled with character – a gastronomic rosé! And may I add, Dosterras’ winemaker is a lady. (There aren’t too many in viticulture!)”

Got some leftover rosé? Look up rosé dessert, cocktail and sauce recipes.

#6 A selection of wines

Like those by Sevenhill Cellars from Clare Valley, South Australia.

“Last but absolutely not the least, Sevenhill Cellars is a product line and cause that’s dear to our hearts. Dating back to 1851, it is a not-for-profit winery still run by Jesuit priests!”

Choose their Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling varietals to suit your different moods.

Sevenhill features over 90 hectares of vines, with the oldest at over 160 years old

And coming soon…

#7 “Healthy” pasta

Like the Sprouted Brown Rice Pasta from Akita, Japan. “This is gluten-free and packed full of nutritional benefits,” Cindy maintains.

The pasta doesn’t have wheat or salt, for starters; plus sprouted brown rice is said to be better than regular brown rice, what with the former containing natural enzymes. Sprouted brown rice also provides you with calcium, dietary fibre, vitamin B1 and magnesium.

”If you love pasta but want less of the guilt, here we go!”

#8 London dry gin

Like the Keepr’s Classic London Dry Gin with Cotswold Honey from England, which is unique for its infusion of 100% British honey.

“Here’s another one for the soul. It has its own cult following and is a gorgeous product all round,” Cindy observes.

It's described as smooth with a hint of sweet

Let us know how you intend to work with #7 and #8 when they become available at Limwood Gourmet. 🙂

Being mindful

Now that the above products (among others) may soon find their way into your kitchen, it might be good to reassess what you currently have so you can make well-informed purchases. We wouldn’t want to go overboard or waste any food. 😉

Proper storage is key, as well as a meal plan. There’s a better chance your items and ingredients will be fully utilised and last longer.

“Extra virgin olive oils are sensitive to sunlight (which we do get a lot of in Singapore), so we strongly advise that they be stored in a cool, dark environment,” Cindy says.

“Something that I do personally is segregate my more sensitive food items, put them in one of those huge plastic containers (they’re large storage tubs, really), and place a dehumidifier (I buy Thirsty Hippo by the case!) in each of them.

“For example, I have a salt tub, a two-spice tub and a starch tub for rice, noodles or pastas, etc – although this one is more for those confounding weevils than air exposure.”

And don’t forget to organise: You’ll quickly see which items you’re running out of; you’ll also save time and effort when everything in your cupboard, pantry or fridge is in its proper place. 😊

For more on Limwood Gourmet, click here. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Want to help the frontliners and other industries hit by the crisis? Buy them a #LimwoodLove Gift Card so they get a 20% storewide discount. It’s ending 31 May 2020. Click on the link for details.