The One Must Have Ingredient

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The recent epidemic of food allergies has forced many restaurants to customize menus, cooking practices and recipes.  Some American states have outlawed certain cooking ingredients, such as trans-fat containing oils.  The list of necessary ingredients to operate a commercial kitchen is enormous, but what is the one ingredient which would be impossible to live without?

The general consensus among chefs is, in no particular order, salt, sugar, dairy, flour and lard or oil.  Some which didn’t make the list but were close behind in importance: eggs, tomatoes, potatoes (see the salt argument), rice and garlic.

Consider this:  You are tasked with cooking a feast for one hundred people, entailed in that are hors d’ouevres, bread, appetizers, salads, main courses—there must be several—sides, and finally, dessert.  Imagine you have to eliminate the other four ingredients that you didn’t choose, as though all of the guests were severely allergic.  For instance, if you consider salt to be the most important ingredient of this list, your guests will be deprived of cheese, bread, fried or sauteed food, etc.

Be an informed voter, and read the letters below.

The Alliance for a Salty World

Mother’s Against Over-Salting

The Cow from that Commercial

An Apology from Flour

Party Time…

To vote, leave a comment and tell the community what you think! Explain your logic.

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14 thoughts on “The One Must Have Ingredient

  1. Pingback: Party Time… | The Sober Sous Chef

  2. Pingback: Mother’s Against Over-Salting | The Sober Sous Chef

  3. Pingback: An Apology from Flour | The Sober Sous Chef

  4. Pingback: The Cow from that Commercial | The Sober Sous Chef

  5. Pingback: The Alliance for a Salty World | The Sober Sous Chef

  6. I like, no, I love all of these ingredients, can’t live without any of them. I am a true believer in the use of butter (remember Julia Child). I think the world was a better and happier place before margarine came along.
    I love sugar. I put sugar and cream in my tea and couldn’t possibly think of drinking it any other way.
    Salt is the best, love it, love it, love it. Isn’t it true that a lot of your baked goods won’t bake right if you don’t add the salt, or is that something I just made up in my mind?
    I love oils, especially olive oil, use it all the time. And I actually used shortening yesterday to make Southern Fried Chicken and it was SCRUMPTIOUS! Crisco shortening is also good for diaper rashes, good barrier emollient. Bet you didn’t know that.
    Dairy – I was allergic to dairy as a child and it was awful. Couldn’t eat cheese, ice cream, cereal, didn’t have dairy substitutes at the time. So I am making up for lost time. Yogurt is also recommended when taking antibiotics, replaces normal flora indiscriminately wiped out by antibiotics. Great stuff. Heavy whipping cream – YUMMMM!.
    Flour – must have. Tried to make a pizza with gluten free pizza flour – I felt like I was eating paper mache coated with tomato sauce – AWFUL.
    Doesn’t it strike anyone odd, that before all these restrictions and food guidelines, we were all much thinner and more content?
    P.S. Sorry if I messed up you voting tally – since I voted on all of them.


    • It’s a fun debate we have in the kitchen, and I agree, all are essential. Glad I don’t have any allergies! Salt is absolutely needed in most baked goods, and the crisco one is definitely news to me. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I would have chosen flour for pitty’s sake, but for months I survived making tasty food with salt alone. Yes. It is salt that flavors our lives.


  8. I’m all about the butter factor. Everything I make a little bit to it. I don’t use salt, oddly enough. I’m not really a fan. But butter is part of my package deal of cookery (as noted in my Staples post earlier). I don’t even have to use a lot. Just enough to make the food taste savory. I also use olive oil in place of butter sometimes. Like if I’m baking fish in the oven, I put it on the pan bottom to crisp up the salmon.

    …after that would be milk/heavy whipping cream (depending). I use it so much when I make my sauces, like tonight when I made a creamy vegetable sauce to pour on top of my salmon. Plus, it goes really well with butter. (Yes, everything revolves around butter.)

    Beyond that, I don’t use sugar much since I’m a diabetic. Now, take away my Splenda and we’ve got problems. Good, southern sweet tea requires it. And I rarely use flour, mostly just as a thickening agent or when I make homemade country gravy. My baking skills are limited. However, garlic is pretty much essential in all my main course dishes. Useful when I jazz up processed ramen packets, too. Goes really well with my homemade breakfast scramble.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Barn Finds: Popcorn Pudding with Bacon, Maple and Cajun Caramel Corn Ice-Cream | The Sober Sous Chef

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