25 Fancy Ingredients To Elevate Your Culinary Experience, As Shared In This Online Thread

Published 3 months ago

In the vast and diverse world of cooking, enthusiasts are constantly on the lookout for ways to elevate their culinary creations. One treasure trove of culinary wisdom is the r/Cooking subreddit, where everyday cooks come together to share their experiences, tips, and favorite ingredients.

Recently, the community decided to spill the beans on their most cherished fancy ingredients that, despite the hefty price tag, they believe are undeniably worth it. Let’s explore the luxurious world of culinary delights as these passionate home chefs share their insights.

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Image source: sam_the_beagle, Caroline Roose / unsplash (no the actual photo)

Parmesan reggiano. Maldon salt. Berkshire pork.Good Scotch.



It is just ridiculously tasty in baked goods.

Image source: Mega—Moo


Image source: EveFluff, Elevate / unslpash ( not the actual photo)

High quality mustard


Image source: Few_Explanation1170, H. Alexander Talbot / flickr (not the actual photo)

Black garlic. Thank you Bob’s Burgers for that tasty treat.


Image source: weasel999, Tina Witherspoon / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Gruyère cheese for macaroni and cheese.


Image source: AuntieHerensuge, amazon

Vanilla bean paste


Image source: walkstwomoons2, Vera De / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Saffron is amazing


Image source: Abused_not_Amused, Art Rachen / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Not really fancy, but parmigiana reggiano is really *the* only parmesan. Sichaun peppercorns for Chinese stir frys, grass fed ground beef for grilled burgers, local honeys as opposed to most any store brands.


Image source: jenipants21, Kobby Mendez / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Real maple syrup


Image source: LowAd3406, Karolina Grabowska / pexels (not the actual photo)

High quality Olive oil. I got some from a farm in California and it was amazing. So fresh, fragrant and flavorful.


Image source: PassionateLifeLiver, Nathan Dumlao / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I like slightly higher end butter. Kerrygold is always solid.


Image source: Whokitty9, Brian Snelson / flickr (not the actual photo)

Not fancy but something most people use. Whole nutmeg. Once I started using at rather than the pre gound stuff and I never looked back. Also good local honey from different pollinating sources. You can taste the difference between honey from bees that polinate say clover and the honey from bees that pollinate apple blossoms.


Image source: elchinguito, Tina Witherspoon / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Good fresh farm eggs


Image source: aninvisiblerabbit, Anna Nekrashevich / pexels (not the actual photo)

Roquefort cheese and smoked aged garlic. Ruinously expensive, but takes pasta sauce from “that was lovely, cheers” to *silent weeping at the beauty of the world.*


Canned San Marzano tomatoes for pasta sauce. Changed everything.

Image source: bay_streety


I’m Asian, so here’s something a bit different:

– Real baijiu for Chinese stirfries (vs ordinary shao xing wine)
– Real sake for Japanese dishes (vs ordinary ryoshiru)
– Ceremonial-grade matcha
– Legit fermented fish sauce (this is cheap in general, but the premium ones are really good – there are fake stuff made with just the extract plus artificial caramel coloring and salt ?)
– Fermented soy sauce (again, cheap in general but the higher grades from small artisans in Japan are just…?)
– Real local vinegar (i especially hate it when there’s additional citric acid in a bottled brand. I buy from small local producers)

Arborio rice, basmati rice (thought i could get away with using normal everyday rice because these two are expensive here but i’m a believer now)

Image source: n0_sh1t_thank_y0u


Image source: anon, Patrick Truby / flickr (not the actual photo)

Luxardo cherries for cocktails.

Seems insane to spend $20 on a jar that small of anything, let alone something that I go through in like a month or two. But it’s now just a non-negotiable part of my budget.


Not really fancy but I’m f*****g heavily with shallots right now

Image source: GucciMonk


Cured meats like real Iberico ham. Oh my god, get the f**k out of my way and gimme.

Image source: ButtMcNuggets


Image source: nursingninjaLB, Joy / flickr (not the actual photo)

Duck fat. It makes roasted veggies amazing.


Image source: DConstructed, CA Creative / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Real aged balsamic vinegar.


Image source: BoomerJ3T, Michael Burrows / pexels (not the actual photo)

Fresh, good coffee beans.


Image source: Thepandamancan23, judy dean / flickr (not the actual photo)

Nothing in particular…but I’m always skeptical when someone gets a cheeseboard that has a ridiculously expensive cheese…like there’s no way this is worth 50 dollars a pound or whatever…and every time I eat it and my words.


Image source: Normal_Machine4548, Kier in Sight Archives / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Smoked paprika….


I dunno if this counts, but homemade chicken stock. Some people are equating fancy with expensive or rare, which is valid. The first time I tasted an aged balsamic I was blown away, spent 20 minutes trying to convince myself not to spend $50 on a tiny bottle of vinegar, failed and bought it, and I have not regretted it. It’s so good. But when I’m feelin real fancy, I make stock. I made my last stock with 5lb of chicken drumsticks on sale for $4, a cleaver, a carrot, a shallot, a celery, a bay leaf, a vinegar, peppercorns, water, and an electric pressure cooker. That might not sound fancy, but the product is so far beyond those boxed stocks. Just, unbelievably beyond you don’t understand till you’ve done it. The effort and quality is what makes homemade stock fancy for me, not the price or rarity.

Image source: raewrite

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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cooking, expensive ingredients, fancy ingredients, food, food hacks, ingredients
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