Stock Your Pantry With Ingredients from Around the World, Care of These Online Shops

An animated photo-illustration of a laptop displaying various pantry items you can buy online.

Photo-illustration: Eater

A guide to buying everything from miso to paneer to prosciutto online

You’ve stocked your pantry with some basics, but now you can’t stop thinking about vegetable dum biryani, chorizo tacos, or nasi lemak. Maybe you can’t bring yourself to do anything but refresh Twitter, and snacks count as meals now, and you’re dreaming about salami and cornichons but you can’t really justify stepping out for such luxuries. (I’m not speaking from experience. Not at all.)

There is a wide world of pantry items from global regional food cultures that you can use to add acidic brightness (think sumac), heat (a dab of yuzu kosho), and umami (a dash of fish sauce) to your dishes — just like your favorite restaurants do. Sometimes it just takes adding a couple of items to your pantry.

It’s always worth starting with your local specialty markets, bakeries, butchers, wine shops, restaurants, and coffee shops that you’d normally frequent, who may be doing local delivery or contactless pick-up. Check their social media feeds — you may find that they’re getting creative. In certain locations, wholesalers and CSAs that normally serve restaurants have opened business to home cooks and can deliver locally. Don’t forget to tip extra.

Meanwhile, many online retailers are overwhelmed and shipping may take longer than usual. As things develop, some may stop taking new orders or restrict their delivery zones (alas, Sahadi’s in Brooklyn). The list below includes stores that are still shipping nationwide as of this writing.

Many cooking traditions share ingredients, and our eating — both at restaurants and at home — increasingly crosses borders. With that in mind, I’ve organized this pantry shopping list by flavor profile and ingredient type. It’s by no means comprehensive. Let’s get shopping:

One-Stop Shops by Region

Unfortunately, there are entire culinary regions that have been omitted from this list. Please let us know of any hot tips.

Central America

East Asia

Europe

Middle East

South Asian

Southeast Asian

Cheese

Europe & North America

Middle East & South Asia

Condiments and Toppings

Asia

Middle East

Meat and Seafood

Mediterranean Europe

Oils and Vinegars

Multiple Regions

East Asia

  • Rice vinegar: The Japanese Pantry (artisanal) or Nijiya (larger production)
  • Purple sweet potato vinegar: East Fork (shipping delays)
  • Toasted sesame oil: The Japanese Pantry sells a range of artisan toasted sesame oils, and a little goes a long way. H Mart is a good bet for supermarket versions.

Europe and North America

Seasoning and Spices

Caribbean

  • The Spice House sells Jamaican allspice, jerk and cajun seasoning blends, and tamarind paste.

East Asia

Mediterranean Europe, Middle East, North Africa

  • Burlap & Barrel is an excellent source for single origin spices and seasonings, including sumac, Urfa chili, saffron, and smoked paprika.
  • igourmet, it should come as no surprise by now, is also a good source if you can’t find something. They carry Calabrian chilies.
  • The Milk Street Store and The Spice House are also good bets for Middle Eastern, African, and Asian flavors.
  • New York Shuk sells a variety of Middle Eastern and Sephardic seasonings and spices, including dukkah, harissa, ras el hanout, and hawaij.

Central America and South America

South and Southeast Asia

  • Burlap & Barrel, Diaspora Co., and Rumi Spice are all stand-outs for ethically sourced single origin spices commonly used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cooking, including turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin. Milk Street and The Reluctant Trading Experiment are also worth checking. I Shop Indian and igourmet, once again, will fill any holes.
  • The Mala Market focuses on Sichuan spices, but many of the aromatic spices like star anise are also used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cooking.
  • The Spice House sells a variety of spices and harder-to-find ingredients like tamarind paste.
  • If you’re looking for shortcuts: For Indian cooking, Brooklyn Delhi sells its sauces direct. Chilicali sells various bumbu for Indonesian flavors, including galangal and sambal.

Other Pantry Items

Multiple Regions

  • Dried fruit: Bellaviva produces organic dried fruit from California’s Central Valley. New York City’s Russ & Daughters sells excellent dried fruit (the strawberries will ruin you forever).

Central America

East Asia

South Asia

  • Rice and dal: Suraj Spices & Teas sells a wide range of whole and ground spices, and they also sell an impressive variety of dal.

Europe and North America

Middle East and North Africa

Baking

With all purpose and run-of-the-mill (literally!) bread flour becoming harder and harder to come by, you may want to branch out into heritage flours.

  • Anson Mills freshly mills its cornmeal, grits, buckwheat, rye, oats, semolina, gluten free, and other specialty baking flours.
  • Central Milling, Hayden Flour Mills, and Maine Grains are excellent sources for pastry flours, bread flours, spelt, buckwheat, rye, and other grains. Availability varies from day to day, but they seem to be updating their websites frequently.
  • Geechie Boy Mill is great for grits, corn flour, and other southern American staples
  • If you’re looking for masa to make your own tortillas, Masienda and Alma Semillera both specialize in heirloom corn varieties.
  • Bow & Arrow from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe produces its cornmeal just outside Mesa Verde National Park.

Katie Okamoto is a Los Angeles–based writer and former editor at Metropolis, the New York–based design and architecture monthly. Find her work at katieokamoto.com and occasionally on Twitter and Instagram.
Photocredits: Laptop: Tawatchai Prakobkit / EyeEm / Getty; Dates: Joolies; Jasmine rice / Hmart; Sumac: Burlap and Barrel; Minerva Sardines: Portugalia; Hondashi: Hmart; Gochujang: Amazon; Olives: Murrays’ Cheese; Chorizo: Tienda

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