In general, the best ingredients are the one that are grown or produced close to home, ideally produced organically. These are fresher and more flavourful, keep your dollars in your community, and are often easier on the environment. We buy much of our food at farmer's markets, in season, and try to avoid pre-prepared packaged foods of any kind.

However, some conveniences are worth exploring. We buy a local brand of minced garlic that is as strong and flavourful as mincing our own, useful when we're in a hurry. Jars of minced ginger and Italian tomato paste in tubes are also great, and canned tomatoes and passata (tomato purée) are indispensible in the winter. And of course, we stock that treasure of the pantry: dried pasta!

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