My thoughts have been turning to the pantry as of late. First, I was asked to provide House Beautiful with a list of pantry staples to have on hand for last-minute cocktail entertaining. (See the November issue for the list, but it does include my fave Mamie's Cheese Wafers, William Poll potato thins, and Hubs peanuts.) Then, I was reading True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World and read the section titled "The Preppy Pantry". The Southern pantry is a little different from the preppy pantry, but Triscuits do seem to be the common denominator. And finally, I was browsing my review copy of Suzanne Rheinstein's upcoming book, At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past (GREAT book, by the way), and was totally inspired by photos of beautiful pantries. So I was thinking, why not come up with a fantasy pantry? OK, so I chose most of these items for their packaging- no surprise there. But I can vouch for the taste of a few of them, and they're really good!
A few things you might find in my virtual pantry...and the real one too.
Fauchon mustard- a classic.
Cipriani Pasta. Truth be told, I'd have this in my pantry just because I love that logo.
Fortnum & Mason Rose Biscuits- "a sweet butter biscuit studded with almonds and scattered with French crystallized rose petals." I bet they taste pretty, too.
Fortnum's Relish- just because I adore Fortnum & Mason's signature shade of eau de nil.
Petrossian Caviar. Kevin Sharkey collects caviar tins. I understand why.
Meinl Coffee. When I visited Vienna a few years ago, I returned with paper napkins and coffee containers with that classic little coffee boy logo. The content of the can is actually tasty too.
Demel Chocolates are wrapped in the most beautiful packaging. I saved my wrapper from the Hazelnut bar, shown above. I haven't a clue what to do with it, though. It was too charming to throw away.
Duke's Mayonnaise. Because not everything has to be fancy. Bar none, the world's best prepared mayonnaise.
(Image at top from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, Melanie Acevedo photographer.)