When cooking in hostels, there are always a couple staples you will find in almost all the recipes on this site. We try to carry the following items with us:

1) Oil (olive or vegetable)
2) Red Wine Vinegar
3) Salt and Pepper
4) Cajun Spice mix, or Curry, or Tabasco
5) Bulb of Garlic

Here is a description of each and why its good to carry:

Oil: Used in almost every recipe, vegetable oil is inexpensive, but usually you have to buy in large containers. We carry a 500ml coke bottle full of oil with us. That way we do not have to buy a new bottle in every city. We found soda bottles are a lot better for carrying the oil than the original container, since the lids on most oil containers are not as spill proof as a coke bottle.

Red Wine Vinegar: Red wine vinegar is great for mixing with oil and a couple extra ingredients for a good salad dressing. we carry our vinegar in a coke bottle. Vinegar is cheap but we don’t want to have to buy it everywhere we go.

Salt and Pepper: Essential for almost all dishes. We carry a couple containers with proper sealing lids for these two essential spices.

Cajun Spice, Curry, or Tabasco: Good to add a kick to any dish. Also, it will spice up any sauce and make it more complex
tasting instantly.

Bulb of Garlic: Garlic is used in a lot of dishes, and travels well. We carry a bulb or two wrapped up in a plastic bag in our backpack.

These are the main ingredients you need, and most of the recipes you’ll find on this website use one or more of these ingredients. Carrying then around won’t take too much backpack space, and will make your grocery shopping lists shorter.


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