When the number of items in The Perfect Pantry's cupboards, spice rack, refrigerator and freezer hit 225, I started to think about what I really need, use, love, crave... and maybe, just maybe, what I could do without, if I had to. Today, the end of The Things We Can't Live Without Week.
After a week of reviewing what we'd need if we were stranded on a desert island (did I mention high-speed internet to keep up with my favorite Top Chef recap, a good santoku, and a few cases of Fresca?), it's time to share the results of our first readers' poll, which gave a choice of all 23 items on our must-have desert island pantry list. Thanks so much to the more than 200 readers who participated.
The big surprise -- where's the salt? Way down at #21 on the list, below balsamic vinegar, lemons, soy sauce and cumin.
Your Top 10 stranded-on-a-desert-island pantry items, in order of popularity:
- Olive oil: on everyone's list.
- Black pepper
- Canned tomatoes
- Dried pasta
- Stock or broth
And 10 items you added to the essential pantry list, in order of popularity:
- Red pepper flakes/chile peppers. (Most frequently mentioned, by a landslide. I wouldn't want to live without red pepper flakes, either!)
- Coconut milk
- Herbes de Provence
- Fish sauce
- Bread flour
- Canned tuna
- Peanut butter
Despite all of my planning and paring, I'd have to sneak onto the desert island a few more essential items from my pantry: chili paste with garlic, chipotles in adobo, curry powder, oyster sauce, wonton skins, lentils, coffee, and a decent bottle of wine.
How about you -- what one, or two, or six pantry items would you hate to leave behind?
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.