Food In The Cupboard

With the ever expanding array of food items in your local shop, it is sometimes difficult to know which items you need. Let’s explore them closer.

The mainstay in many recipes rice, pasta and noodles have come a long way in recent years. Join me to explore what’s on offer

There is a wide range of rices now available. Store rice in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Rice will keep for up to three years if stored correctly.

Long-grain rice
This is the most common rice and the easiest to cook. It is cheap, good as a meal accompaniment and can be used in many recipes. A good all round rice.

Basmati rice
A long-grain rice, basmati has the reputation of the best flavored rice in the world. From the Punjab region of India, it is ideal used to accompany a meal.

Risotto rice
Risotto is a short grain rice specifically grown for use in risotto recipes.

Pudding rice
This is another short grain rice, it is suitable for long, slow cooking in milk.

Brown rice
Has a much nuttier flavor and higher nutritional value than white rice as it still contains the bran layer and germ. I like the taste of brown rice but be aware that it will take longer to cook and will remain a little more firm than white.

Pasta is a very popular ingredient in modern cooking. Dried pasta needs to be stored in a
cool, dry place and will keep for around 18-24 months. The egg pastas will not keep as long and fresh pasta should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 1-2 days.

One of the most common pastas and a favorite of many. It is a long, thing pasta used with bolognese sauces.

A basic short pasta which is famous in Macaroni Cheese.

Large flat sheets of pasta, used in alternative layers with meat and/or cheese sauces.

These are large tubes of pasta. You stuff them first and then cook them – my favorite is a ricotta cheese and spinach filling.

The thin spirals of this pasta makes it good at holding onto chunky sauces.

This is the ‘proper’ name for what we all call bows. Use these in salads for an attractive look.

The very fine, whispy pasta. The extra fine is called ‘angel hair’. Often used with delicate ingredients like crab and prawns.

The ribbon pastas. Named fettuccine, linguine and pappardelle depending on the width of the ribbon.

Those little shell shaped pastas. These are great with chunky sauces and the larger shells can be stuffed.

Stuffed Pastas
This includes ravioli and tortellini which have a filling inside them. They are great for quick meals.

I must admit to being a bit of a fan of noodles. These are Asian noodles and only need soaking in hot water or a quick cook, before being ready to eat. Keep fresh and dried noodles in a cool, dry place and use by the date on the label.

Egg noodles
Very commonly used in Chinese and Thai cooking. Egg noodles are great in a stir fry. They can also create a quick meal on their own mixed with a little sauce.

Rice noodles
These tend to be very fine and only need soaking before using. Often added to soups and stir fries.

Soba noodles
These are a Japanese noodle similar to egg noodles. They are made from buckwheat, are darker in color and rather thin. Use them in soups and broths.

Udon noodles
Are another type of Japanese noodle. These are made from wheat flour and are thicker. They are used mostly in stir-fries.

Happy Cooking
Francis Chang

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Food Guide:
Long Grain Basmati Rice Buckwheat Soba Noodles
About The Author, Francis Chang -
Francis loves baking, especially cookies - find her writing about Fortune Cookies and Delicious Cookie Baskets.