Ina Garten refuses to use canned tomatoes in anything she cooks because the flavor is ‘not that interesting’

  • Ina Garten is known for always using "good" ingredients — it's one of her most famous catchphrases. 
  • And Garten recently told The New York Times' Sam Sifton that she has some very specific ingredients that she always uses, and one she doesn't. 
  • The "Barefoot Contessa" star is a huge fan of Lindt and uses it with every recipe that calls for chocolate. 
  • But she always avoids using plain canned tomatoes, opting for San Marzano instead. 
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From olive oil to vanilla, Ina Garten is known for always using "good" ingredients.

And the "Barefoot Contessa" star recently revealed that there's a couple of very specific products that she always loves to cook with — and one she doesn't. 

Garten was speaking to The New York Times' Sam Sifton for the launch of her new cookbook "Modern Comfort Food" when the discussion of ingredients came about. 

During their virtual chat — which was hosted by The Streicker Center in New York City — Sifton asked Garten if there were any "bad ingredients" that she avoids cooking with, noting that he never uses Tabasco sauce. 

"It's my least favorite hot sauce," he said. 

"Oh yeah, 'cause it's more one-note," Garten replied. "It doesn't have the layers of flavor that something like Sriracha might have." 

Garten, in turn, then revealed that she isn't a fan of plain canned tomatoes. 

"A canned tomato is not that interesting," she said. "You can use a San Marzano tomato — that has interesting flavor."

And when she needs to use chocolate in a recipe, Garten said she always uses Lindt. 

"I've used it for so long, I can't even remember why I chose it," she told Sifton with a laugh. 

But the"Barefoot Contessa" star recently did a taste test to see if Lindt was still the best chocolate for her recipes. 

"We had eight different kinds of chocolate and, you know, the Lindt was my favorite one!" she said. "I was pleased to find confirmation that I was using it for the right reasons." 

"I'm a Lindt fan," Sifton replied. "I'll die on that hill." 

The pair also discussed butter, and Garten said she almost always goes for Cabot. 

"Sometimes I just use Land O'Lakes," she added. "And sometimes I use European butter, like with duck breast, because it has a lower water content." 

And if she's serving toast for brunch, Garten always has Irish salted butter on the table. 

At the end of the day, Garten said her "good" mantra is really just about quality. 

"It means think about the ingredient. It doesn't mean buy the most expensive one if you can't afford it," she said. "Buy the best ingredient that you can buy."

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