Published July 29, 2023 by Kira Johnson

Upgrade Your Pantry with These Cult Followed Sauces + Spices

During the past couple years, everyone has had to become their own personal chef at one point or another. Whether cooking a meal is just one task in your day or a point of passion Gordon Ramsey would envy, these saucy and spicy additions are sure to make every homemade meal feel like a night out. Toss the Hellmans and make room for your new staples.

1. Acid League 

This brand upgrades your cooking with elevated takes on traditional flavors and brings acids back into the limelight. They’re all about a healthy biome, both in the world around us and within our gut. They emphasize the environmental importance of their brand, such as how they support sustainability and small-businesses, as well as how beneficial the fermentation process used in many of their products is to our overall health. As an added bonus, you can even find recipes on their website that showcase how to make the most of your Acid League pantry additions.

Inside Tip: They’re currently developing non-alcoholic wine, which means twice the fun in your kitchen.

Acid League Vinegar

2. Fly by Jing 

We’ve seen the eye-catching Instagram ads and the enticing packaging on the shelves, but if you haven’t had a chance to try the sauces that have spiced up everyone’s lives, now’s the time. The creator, Jing, uses traditional Chinese ingredients to create delicious meal additions and tell her story through flavor. Born in the Sichuan province before moving to the United States, Jing’s life is reflected in the creation of her sauces and makes a powerful statement about identity. Food is cultural, but even more so, it’s personal. We can definitely taste the heart and soul of Fly by Jing, once again proving that the best food is made with love.

Fly by Jing sauce

3. Occo 

This brand has developed a simple way to explore the world of flavor for both trepidatious beginners and seasoned chefs alike. With this innovative product, OCCO ships prepackaged, individual portions of a variety of spices, from your average oregano to rose petals and asafoetida. I mean, there are ten different options for chiles alone! There’s no need to buy a whole jar of something that we may only use once, and OCCO gives us a solution which saves money and pantry space. 

Inside Tip: The recipes provided on their website are a fantastic jumping off point for any adventurous foodies looking to expand their experience.

Occo spices

4. Ami Ami 

This brand is a home-grown labor of love started by two friends in the kitchen, and their goal of making meals (and the creation of them) more fun is reflected in their unique ingredients and textures. With a collection of different flavors, there is an Ami Ami addition for any dish. Their spices cater to a variety of diets, including paleo, vegan, keto, and dairy-free. This women-owned business is not only focused on providing ways to upgrade your recipes– they actively donate to organizations that benefit the lives of women all over the world, like Heya Masr, an Egypt-based initiative with a mission of restoring a sense of dignity and pride in young women.

Ami Ami spices

5. Bachans 

This sauce has a recipe that has been passed down for generations, making it a favorite that has stood the test of time. Named after the Japanese traditional word for “granny,” Bachan makes it no secret who came up with the delicious barbecue sauce. The creator of this brand takes pride in their family’s origins and the influence that their heritage has had on them, and they share this appreciation through the sauce that they’ve so generously given to the world. They also know that if you’re going to do something, you’ve got to do it right. That’s why they ensure that their ingredients are of the purest, highest, and freshest quality. If you’re looking for authentic Japanese barbecue sauce, look no further!

Bachans Japanese barbecue sauce

6. Bianco Dinapoli 

You’ve probably seen this brand on every food influencer's shelf or nestled in the background of a TikTok Recipe vid. While we all wish we could pluck ingredients from our own personal gardens, Bianco DiNapoli comes to the rescue where our tiny apartments fall short. As a family business going on 70 years of operation, their commitment to high-standard farming practices and processing keeps produce as fresh as you can get it. Their California-grown canned tomatoes, which come whole, crushed, or in sauce and paste form, are some of the best quality you can find. As any chef will tell you, a meal is only as good as its ingredients, so starting a dish with tomatoes like these sets you up for success.

Inside Tip: Have confidence in knowing you’re getting the best of the best with Bianco DiNapoli, because their products have been ranked #1 in the nation by The New York Times and Wirecutter.

Bianco Dinapoli tomatoes

7. Bowlcut 

If there’s one thing that has become increasingly clear during everyone’s time at home, it’s that food is something that we can turn to when we need comfort or inspiration. Providing these things is what Bowlcut does best. They set out to create a traditional sauce that brought them together, and brought them home. As children of Chinese restaurant owners, they have an appreciation for the traditions ingrained in Chinese flavors, but tell their own story with unique twists on the classic sauces. Not only do they share their cultural perspectives through the culinary arts, but they also feature a space for AAPI creatives to showcase their own passions in The Special page on their website.

Bowlcut chili sauce