oils & vinegars

These days our larders typically include a variety of different oils and vinegar. Whilst some recipes on our site and elsewhere may call for for a specific type, our list should suffice for most dishes.


extra-virgin olive oil has a wonderful flavour that works well in salad dressing and for drizzling over food. However, it takes less heat than other light oils so do not use it for frying or roasting.

olive oil is not as rich as extra virgin and it can take heat making it ideal for use in dishes such as a pasta sauce or roasted vegetables. Its flavour is not as intense as extra virgin olive oil, but can still be used in a dressing if extra virgin not available.

sunflower or vegetable oil is a good all around oil for roasting, grilling or frying due to its subtle flavour and ability to cook at high heat.

sesame oil  is recommended if you cook a lot of asian influenced dishes, for flavour only and not for cooking as it burns easily. Sesame oil gives an intense nuttiness to a stir fry or dip and is used both in marinades and at the end of cooking, but use sparingly.


balsamic vinegar can be baffling in a shop as the prices vary dramatically. We would recommend that you buy the best balsamic vinegar that your budget allows.

red and white wine vinegars are great for adding a zing to salad dressings. We have both on hand along with sherry and cider vinegars, however  if you are going to choose one as a larder staple, start with the white wine vinegar.

rice wine vinegar is worth buying if you plan to cook a lot of Oriental food as you will find it is used in both marinades and dressings.

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