Chefs will tell you all the time that they are nothing without good product: good olive oil, good salt, good tomatoes, and good pantry staples in general. Home cooks tend to feel the same way. “Don’t pry that jar of mustard, Calabrian chile peppers or VSOP balsamic vinegar from my hands!”
That’s what a Williams Sonoma staffer might say about the following greatest-hits products. It’s no surprised that they’re among those most beloved by readers, too.
Edmond Fallot’s silky Dijon mustard made the cut for three different staffers. As recipe editor Sharron Wood explains, “It adds a tangy zip to the vinaigrette that I make every week, and it helps emulsify the dressing beautifully, too.” Sharron loves it dolloped alongside roasted meats and grilled sausages and uses it to enhance pan sauces for chicken and pork chops. She’ll also serve it with roast ham, biscuits and cornichons for big, buffet-style meals.
Calabrian chiles had a moment in the sun a few years ago, but trendy or not, they remain absolutely delicious. Of our classic crushed Italian chiles, food developer Rosanna Gonzalez says, “They are a little spicy and smoky. I love to add them to pasta dishes, use them as a base on pizza, and add something fun and spicy to a grilled cheese or panini!”
Digital marketing manager Bradley Kleparek is nuts for our stock concentrates. (Choose among turkey, beef, chicken and vegetable stocks!) Bradley enthuses, “They are packed with flavor and depth, and a little jar goes a long way and is perfect for big and small recipe needs!”
We have dozens of BBQ sauces, from a mango-lime spackle to a smoky-sweet regional Kansas City sauce, and senior savory food buyer Alex Smith would be hard-pressed to choose. “Not only do I love grilling with them,” he says, but he also uses them “as a pizza sauce, tossed with pulled pork or chicken, as a dressing in taco salad, and so much more!”
Sweet and tart at once, our fruit blend vinegars are simply unbeatable as grilling glazes and ice cream drizzles. You heard us! Take the word of associate savory food buyer Genevieve Severyn, who declares, “I love our fruit blend vinegars! They make amazing salad dressings and marinades, and are so delicious on vanilla ice cream!”
“My favorite condiment is our EVOO,” exclaims test kitchen cook Devon Francis. “It’s the best way to infuse some Italian essence into anything 😉.” Devon uses it as a finishing garnish on roasted fish, eggs, veggies, pasta, raw greens, even chocolate cake! (Yes, really!)
We kind of can’t stop talking about this aged balsamic vinegar. It’s our best-selling condiment for a reason. As test kitchen director Belle English says, “I live for our VSOP balsamic vinegar. I use it on everything and I mean EVERYTHING, from pastry to savory, like over grilled peaches with ice cream or a strawberry galette, on a pizza, the base of a salad dressing, pasta sauce, chicken marinade—you name it. It’s the perfect combination of acidic and sweet and rich and tangy and adds that something-something to whatever you’re making!”
As art director Rebecca Hecht says, “The dessert sprinkles are a staple at my house. With three little kids, sprinkles make everything better. Add to yogurt and berries, apples slices with peanut butter… they bring instant joy to snack time.”
Senior sourcing manager Gloria Tai can’t get enough of Souvla’s Greek herb olive oil, a new exclusive product we just launched in collaboration with the famous Bay Area restaurant. “It has the ideal subtle balance of oregano, garlic, and basil,” says Gloria. “It’s a perfect finish over grilled fish or chicken, or just drizzled over fresh heirloom tomatoes.”
“I can’t live without flaked sea salt,” says senior copy writer Marni Chan. “Summer tomato salads are on repeat in my house and this adds the perfect crunch and brings out their flavor.” She also loves it to sprinkle on top of warm chocolate chip cookies, and while it’s technically a finishing salt, she loves to cook with it for its rich, briny notes.