‘New Year, New Me’ – time to create the perfect pantry!

A well-organized pantry is synonymous with savings, but what are the tricks to structure it best?

And what are the essential and useful items to have in it, to ensure a healthy and anti-waste kitchen?

The California Prune Board (CPB), in collaboration with cleaning influencers Titty & Flavia have created a check list for the creation of the ideal home pantry, with practical advice on its ideal positioning, its organization and a selection of product guidance.

The ideal place to place the pantry is not at all obvious. There are several solutions that can be considered to set up a pantry from scratch or to renovate the existing one. A dedicated room, piece of furniture or kitchen cabinets: the classic sideboard will be perfect for a traditional-style kitchen, or a wardrobe with retractable sliding doors for a contemporary style. A really trendy alternative is using exposed shelves: this last type of pantry, however, requires meticulous order!


What to include?

The variety of items that can be stored in a pantry can be enormous, but it is advisable to choose a mix of those you use often, and those with a long shelf life.

This way you can be prepared for any eventuality, and especially the sudden visit of a hungry group of family or friends!

Most people find pasta and rice to be indispensable. They have a long shelf life and if well stored, for example in glass containers, can last many weeks. Having a variety of types, from sauce and broth, normal and gluten-free, protein and wholemeal also helps to easily make healthy dishes

Dried fruits such as California Prunes, whose long shelf life in the pantry, premium quality and versatility of use in the kitchen, both for sweet and savoury dishes and as a snack makes them a crucial element for your pantry, especially in winter. They are in fact also an excellent source of fibre [1] and include two important nutrients that promote the maintenance of normal bones: vitamin K and manganese.

Cereals such as buckwheat, spelt or barley are ingredients that give an extra touch to soup –  a favourite option on cold winter evenings.

Flours of various kinds, for desserts, for pizza, soft wheat, semolina, rice, chickpeas; corn starch, freeze-dried brewer’s yeast and baking powder.

Sauces, be these tomato puree, diced and peeled pulp can be seen as essentials for both traditional and contemporary meals.

Condiments such as oil, both olive and frying, white and apple vinegar, soy sauce, sachet sauces such as ketchup or mayonnaise in addition to fine or coarse salt.

Spices of various kinds are ideal to keep in jars: black pepper both in grains and ground, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, sage, chilli, paprika, turmeric etc.

Canned goods such as tuna, anchovies, mackerel, peas, artichokes, pickles, green and black olives, corn and of course – a variety of beans!

Extras: Biscuits, rusks, snacks, crackers, sweet and savoury snacks, jams and spreads, long-life milk, and fruit juices.


How best to organise your pantry?

The arrangement of your pantry depends a lot on its size, available space and its location. However, there are some basic rules that are a good place to start.

Group foods by type
It will be easier and faster to find what you need and keep an eye on expiration dates. For example, put pasta, rice and cereals near sauces. Dried fruits such as California Prunes close to, cookies, rusks and snacks near jams, milk and fruit juices, flour near yeasts and spices near seasonings.

Always place expiring products in front
If you choose to have multiple packages of the same food in the pantry with different expiration dates, it is advisable to put at the front those that expire first, so as not to have to waste time checking every date.

Dedicate one day a month, or even more, if necessary, to the reorganization of the pantry and the control of deadlines
If you let the disorder accumulate then it will be a challenge to come to terms with it and inevitably there will be numerous expired products to be thrown away!

Always pay attention to the indications for proper storage
Some items should be kept in a cool place and preferably in the dark. Oil, vinegar and various condiments fear heat sources, therefore, they should be kept away from the oven and stove – so choose those lower shelves, since heat tends to rise high.


Give it a go yourself!
All that remains is for to try your hand at creating or reorganizing the perfect pantry – so good luck and enjoy the process!




[1] With an intake of about 7g/100g, which is almost a quarter of the recommended daily amount of fibre of 30g