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Top 10 kitchen cupboard essentials

Many kitchen cabinets are bursting at the seams with superfluous and unnecessary food items. Not only do these foods occupy valuable cabinet space but, because they are rarely used, they can easily spoil. However, there are certain foods that should be essential kitchen cabinet mainstays for any style of cook.

Extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil is versatile and delicious food. It can be used during cooking to add depth and texture a meal, or simply eaten with bread or other foods. Extra-virgin olive oil is usually more expensive than other varieties, but its healthier properties and fuller fruitier flavor makes it well worth the investment.

Canned soup
Best-selling author and TV personality, "Hungry Girl" Lisa Lillien considers including a quick and satisfying snack like canned soup as essential for any pantry. "Soup is filling -- and a great snack or mini meal," she says. It can also be used as an ingredient for casseroles and other dishes, and has a conveniently long shelf-life.

Black pepper
Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices and can be used to season and flavor almost any dish. It can be added both during and after cooking to enhance the flavor, and even contains antioxidants which can boost your health.

Rice
The most commonly consumed food in the world, rice is a staple ingredient for roughly half the world's population. This versatile and inexpensive food provides a solid foundation to almost any kind of meal, and can be left in the cupboard for years without going bad.

Salt
Salt is perhaps the most important kitchen cupboard essential of them all. Like pepper, it can be used during and after cooking to add depth and flavor to a dish, as well as a preservative for foods like ham and fish. Salt comes in several forms, including table salt, which is usually refined, and sea salt which often comes in crystal form.

Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs provide an easy way to add extra texture to your dishes. Whether they're sprinkled on a pasta bake or stuffed inside a turkey, breadcrumbs make a surprisingly versatile, delicious addition to a range of meals.

Eggs
Eggs could be considered among the most versatile foods in the kitchen. They are an essential ingredient in countless dishes, particularly in baking. As a standalone food, eggs can be prepared in dozens of ways, or added to pasta or rice dishes to improve the flavor.

Chicken, vegetable and beef bullion
When there's no time to make fresh stock, bullion is the perfect ingredient for dishes like risotto, soup or casserole. It helps to stock a range of bullion flavors which, depending on the ingredients, can be used to compliment different meal types.

Pasta
Though pasta is primarily considered an Italian food, it appears in numerous other varieties of cuisine, including Spanish, Asian and Eastern European. Whether it's brown or white, macaroni or rigatoni, every kitchen cabinet should be stocked with pasta.

Flour
Flour is a quintessential cupboard mainstay, as it can has a wide variety of uses. It is a basic ingredient for most baked goods, including bread pastries cakes, but it can also be used to thicken sauces, soups or casseroles.