Welcome to Christine Sahadi Whelan’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring 7 staples stocking Christine’s Middle Eastern kitchen.
I grew up in a Lebanese household eating mostly traditional foods prepared by my mother and aunts. My mother, Audrey, always cooks like she’s expecting 600 guests, and several times each year we turn out feasts that would do any Aleppo housewife proud. Likewise, the majority of the foods we prepare and sell at Sahadi’s—New York City’s oldest continually operating specialty food store, owned by my family—have their roots in the classic recipes of Syria and Lebanon, and I love hearing our American-born-and-raised customers casually throwing words like 'fattoush' or 'kibbeh' into conversation as they plan their upcoming parties.