16. Extra-virgin olive oil
The ultimate oil for the kitchen, extra-virgin olive oil is essential for salad dressings. It’s also a perfect cooking medium for many foods, a tasty seasoning for vegetables, and a good protective coating for pots and pans.
17. Vegetable oil
For deep-frying or for cooking foods that might be overpowered by the flavor of good olive oil, a more neutral oil — for instance, canola, corn, or peanut — is good to have.
18. White wine vinegar
This is the vinegar you’ll want for brining meats and poultry, pickling fruits and vegetables, making classic sauces like hollandaise or beurre blanc, and adding an attractive sharpness to soups and stews. In addition, it’s a great kitchen cleanser.
19. Sherry vinegar
Trendy balsamic vinegar has pushed it aside in recent years, but sherry vinegar makes superb salad dressings and marinades, and is an unexpectedly delightful condiment to simply drizzle over roasted pork, chicken, or fish.
20. Soy sauce
A must for many Asian recipes, soy sauce is also a good addition to marinades of many kinds, a flavorful ingredient for glazes, and a traditional condiment for simply cooked rice (and sushi).