Our Favorite Oils and Vinegars

Rich, assertive malt vinegar is a classic ingredient in pickles as well as in Indian vindaloos. The English, who wouldn't eat fish-and- chips without it, swear by SARSON'S MALT VINEGAR (left), and so do we. TRADITIONAL ACETO BALSAMICO OF MONTICELLO (center) is a rich, woody balsamic vinegar from New Mexico that is aged in oak for eight years. It's extremely pricey but worth the splurge. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and fermented in French oak for more than two years, VERGER PIERRE GINGRAS NATURAL HANDCRAFTED CIDER VINEGAR (right), from Quebec, brings true apple flavor to dressings, glazes, and chutneys. It's the finest cider vinegar we've tried.Michael Kraus
Peanut oil's high smoke point makes it excellent for frying and sauteing. While most brands are bland tasting, LION & GLOBE PEANUT OIL (left), from Hong Kong, has a distinctly peanutty taste. Clean tasting and satiny, grapeseed oil is a great all-purpose oil, reliable at high temperatures or used fresh in a dressing. Our favorite, SCALIGERA GRAPESEED OIL (center), produced near Verona, Italy, has a pleasing hint of nuttiness. Rich coconut oil adds fragrance and body to South Indian curries and is perfect for cooking dishes with tropical flavors. With its smooth, balanced taste, PARACHUTE COCONUT OIL (right), from India, is our go-to brand.Michael Kraus
Milled in California by a 150-year-old French company, LA TOURANGELLE ROASTED PISTACHIO OIL (left) has an intensely nutty taste. We use it on its own as a condiment or toss it with warm boiled potatoes. Our favorite olive oil for drizzling over salads or even just toasted bread is FRANKIES 457 EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (center), from Sicily, which has the green hue and ripe, grassy flavors prized in oils from that island. Depending on where and how they're made, extra-virgin olive oils vary so widely that it makes sense to stock a few. For a variety of cooked dishes, we rely on subtly fruity NUNEZ DE PRADO EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (right), from the Baena district of Andalusia, in southern Spain.Michael Kraus
With its bright tanginess, coconut vinegar adds zest to ceviches and other marinated seafood dishes. Our favorite, DATU PUTI COCONUT VINEGAR (left), from the Philippines, also works well in vinaigrettes. Austrian-made GEGENBAUER TOMATO VINEGAR (center) begins as pure tomato juice and is fermented and aged like a fine wine; it has the concentrated flavor of a luscious ripe tomato. We use it to bolster tomato salsas and drizzle it over salads. Zhejiang, on the eastern coast of China, is famous for its black rice vinegars, including GOLD PLUM CHINKIANG VINEGAR (right). Traditionally used as a dipping sauce, Gold Plum has a meaty, sweet-savory character that makes it a natural for braises and a terrific substitute for balsamic.Michael Kraus