If you’ve watched the SORTEDfood YouTube channel, you’ll know that we’ve had our fair share of pretentious ingredients. With our community in mind, we’re always asking the question of whether or not they’re worth their hefty price tags. 

Sometimes we come across a pretentious ingredient or product that is truly standout. Whether it’s super sustainable, has an incredible backstory or offers a unique experience for a special occasion, we can usually agree that it’s worth splashing a bit of cash on. So if you’re feeling a bit extravagant or you’re looking for a gift for the foodie who has it all, why not try one of these?   


1. Truff White Truffle Hot Sauce

A blend of ripe chilli peppers, agave nectar, white truffle and a little organic coriander, this hot sauce punches well above its weight. Truffle AND hot sauce? The dream. Oh, and did we mention Oprah is a fan? We had ours with corn ribs, but it would go equally well with mac ‘n’ cheese. 


2. Pommery Royale Mustard with Cognac

There’s mustard, and then there’s mustard. This particular mustard is something quite special. From an award-winning moutardier just outside of Paris, it’s a perfect blend of gourmet wholegrain mustard and cognac that’ll add just the right edge to your ham sandwiches. Barry Taylor reckons it’s a must(ard)-have.  


3. La Molina Millestrati Milk Dark White Gianduja Layered Cake 

Got a chocoholic in your life? Or are you that chocoholic? It doesn’t get much better or more chocolatey than the La Molina Millestrati Layered Cake. With alternating layers of premium milk, dark and white chocolate combined with creamy hazelnut gianduja, it weighs in at about 2kg! And though it may not make your weekly shopping list, we reckon this potentially pretentious product is ideal for a special occasion. 


4. Juan Pedro Domecq Iberico Ham 

Described by us as ‘sweet and fruity and salty and melty’, this is one hell of a ham – and it should be when it’s been voted one of the top 10 best Iberico hams! Give this as a gift and you’ll be someone’s best friend for life. 


5. Vanilla Mart Tahitian Vanilla Pods

Thought there was only one type of vanilla out there? Think again. Meet Tahitian vanilla, Madagascan vanilla’s lesser known cousin. Sweet, slightly floral and slightly cherry-ish, it tastes like no other vanilla we’ve tried. Try it in ice creams, custards or crème brûlées to mix things up. 


6. Arganic Argan Oil

There’s olive, there’s sesame, there’s sunflower… And there’s argan oil. Though most often associated with cosmetics, argan oil is also a deliciously nutty addition to your cooking. And we think it’s worth the price tag – over 600 Berber women benefit directly from the production of it. Our community suggests enjoying argan oil with bread and honey, or mixing it with ground roasted almonds and honey to make the Moroccan spread amlou. 

7. Sal de Riso Panettone Oro Puro

Last but not least, a potentially pretentious product we can all agree is a showstopper. The story goes that one day in the mountains, pastry chef Salvatore De Riso decorated one of his award-winning panettones with pure gold leaf and drove it down to his shop on the seafront. Prepared over 60 hours with the finest ingredients, the taste and quality is second to none – and for an indulgent Christmas, you’d be hard pushed to beat this! It’s out of stock for now, but you can grab their Classic Panettone for a slightly more accessible price.

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