Too Many Cooks: Secret Stashes

March 20, 2015

You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more. 

This post is brought to you by Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate.

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Be honest with yourself: Food tastes better when concealed in sock drawers and make-up bags. Practically every employee at Food52 has a secret stash -- a few even hide chocolate in their desk drawers -- and we'd bet that you also keep everything from candy to condiments secreted away where only you can find them. As the saying goes, "Keep your friends close but your favorite foods closer." (That's the saying, right?) That's why we asked our staff: 

What do you keep in your secret stash? 

Do you keep gummies in your glove compartment or chocolate in your closet? Share with us in the comments below!

Derek: Dark chocolate. Chewy candy. Dried cherries.

Gabriella: Dark chocolate. My stash currently lives in a drawer under my desk. Everyday I know it's 4 PM because my caffeine withdrawal hits and all I need is a coffee and a square (or two) of dark chocolate to get though the rest of the day. This habit was undoubtedly inherited from my mom (her secret stash is the bottom drawer in the kitchen), who would grab a couple squares of dark chocolate and an espresso every afternoon before diving into two or three hours of teaching piano lessons at our house.

Lucy: Fruity candy lives in my cosmetics bag because grown-up ladies need treats too. 

Amanda S: Hot 'N Spicy Fried Pork Skins, sour pickles, and dried seaweed. 

Leslie: I'm not sure how confident I feel admitting this publicly, but I keep sweet cherry-flavored licorice in my sock drawer. They're my one candy vice, but I pull them out whenever I'm reading (or working from home!). It's a little disconcerting how quickly I can go through a pack. 

More: Trying to finish a good book? Keep a bowl of these savory snacks within arms reach. 

Haley: I have a weakness for "natural" licorice. Not Twizzlers -- Twizzlers were very two years ago for me. I'm very healthy now.

Rachel: String cheese ALL DAY.

Hannah P: I have been known to hide frosting and graham crackers in my dresser drawer. No shame. 

More: One box of graham crackers, six ways to eat dessert first.

Samantha: I have a unhealthy obsession with kettle-cooked potato chips and they get me through just about anything -- especially if they are flavored with rosemary and olive oil.

Laura: I absolutely can't live without at least 4 tablespoons of salty almond butter a day with dark chocolate and sweet potato chips.

Stephanie: My stash is just a jar of peanut butter. Sometimes with chocolate chips on the side if it's been that kind of day. 

More: Love peanut butter? Learn what you should (or shouldn't) eat with peanut butter.

Channing: My after-dinner snacks are essential to my survival and happiness. I switch between extra-sharp aged cheddar cheese on crackers and raw almonds, unsalted cashews, dried tart cherries, and bittersweet chocolate chips all jumbled together. I also hoard bags of baby carrots. I know they're just regular carrots, but they're just so easy! 

Lindsay-Jean: I aspire to consider dried figs, nut butters, and baby carrots as secret stashes. However,  I don't know what to do with myself if there are not dill pickles and extra-sharp cheddar cheese on hand.

More: Once the pickles are gone, here's how to use up all the brine

Karl: Ginger chews and cashews.

Hannah W.: GINGER CHEWS!!! 

Micki: Any form of gummies, especially gummy peaches. And I completely agree on ginger chews.

Paul: Ok, well, since you asked... French fried onions. When I'm feeling lazy I like to eat them straight out of the container, or on better days, lightly toasted in the oven -- and/or in sandwiches, on soup, salads, pizza, burgers, spaghetti, omelettes, mashed potatoes, green beans (the only generally recognized use for these undervalued treasures), on tacos, mixed with vegetable sides, on hot fudge ice cream sundaes, the list goes on. It's actually more work for me to think of things I don't like French fried onions on, but for completeness I did come up with one: watermelon.

More: Rekindle your love of onion dip.  

What are is in your secret stash? Share with us in the comments below!

We've partnered with Ghirardelli to take a look inside our staff's secret stash. Find perfect Intense Dark pairings to savor with your own stash here

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jan Oconnell
    Jan Oconnell
  • Lorraine Fina Stevenski
    Lorraine Fina Stevenski
  • Nanda Devi Van Der Veen
    Nanda Devi Van Der Veen
  • Judith Fine-Sarchielli
    Judith Fine-Sarchielli
  • celia younger
    celia younger
Past Julia Child Fellow at Food52 || Believer in Brunch


Jan O. April 24, 2015
Peanut butter cups in the carrying compartment of my walker. Always handy, but not in plain sight. I don't like to share!
Lorraine F. March 30, 2015
Ghirardelli dark chocolate and salted caramel chocolate squares. I hide my stash behind the dog food!
Nanda D. March 24, 2015
Gummi bears, and pickles :s
Judith F. March 22, 2015
ZOT are also gluten-free. Authentic, pure licorice extract imported from italy. Google
Judith F. March 22, 2015 natural licorice. No sugar in tiny boxes and low sugar in flavored ones.
celia Y. March 22, 2015
WHERE CAN I get natural licorice? I will like to find it here. I never saw it anywhere. Thank you.
Callie March 21, 2015
My secret stash includes the following: dried mango, sea salt popcorn, Ghirardelli Intense Orange Dark Chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips, fiber bars, and almonds.
luvcookbooks March 21, 2015
At work: can't be secret since I have no space of my own: trader joe's pre sweetened and dried milk individual instant coffee packets, tea bags, cheese and crackers, fruit and sweets.
Twixen March 21, 2015
Just at the moment it is a stash of Rowntree's fruit pastilles sent from UK. Woefully impossible to find in the US, not so easy to find even in Canada.
cdilaura March 20, 2015
The ghirardelli sea salt soirée is whati stock up on. And I'd like to publicly make a plea to bring back the peanut butter squares -- I'm sure the PB snackers are with me.
lilroseglow March 20, 2015
with you all the way.
candice March 20, 2015
my college dorm room single***
candice March 20, 2015
My single college dorm room is secret stash: almonds, juice boxes, nutella, coffee graham crackers, peanut butter, oatmeal, whole milk yogurt, to name a few.
Sarah J. March 20, 2015
What are coffee graham crackers?!