The main difference between larder and pantry is that larder is a cool and dry area for storing food while pantry is a small room or a large cupboard to store food, beverages, crockery and cutlery.
Both larders and pantries are places to store food. These were very commonplace before the widespread use of refrigerators. Moreover, they have undergone a lot of changes over the centuries that today both these are used as synonyms.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is a Larder
– Definition, Features, Uses
2. What is a Pantry
– Definition, Features, Uses
3. What is the Difference Between Larder and Pantry
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is a Larder
A larder is a cool area (room, cupboard, etc.) for storing food prior to use. Traditionally, this was the place where raw meat was larded. That means, to cover the meat in fat in order to preserve it. Larders were common in western households before the invention of refrigerators.
In the past, meat was preserved by partially cooking it and then covering with lard, until the meat is needed. Dried meat was usually stored away from dampness. A wet larder was the place used to store larded meat, uncooked meat, game and vegetables. A dry larder was a place to store grain chests, dry fruits, and some types of cheeses.
Larders are cool, dry and well-ventilated. They were usually built on the shady side of the house (the side that doesn’t get direct sunlight). There were also no fireplaces in any of the adjoining walls. Windows of larders were generally small and unglazed with the window openings covered in a fine mesh. This allowed open circulation, without allowing flies and other insects.
What is a Pantry
A pantry is a small room, or a large cupboard usually located in or near the kitchen. It helps to store shelf-stable food storage and beverages, and kitchenware (crockery and cutlery). A pantry like a larder, but it is smaller in size.
The word ‘pantry’ comes from Latin panis (bread). The basic idea was a closet or cupboard to store. In noble medieval households, the pantry was a cupboard for keeping bread. The finer cupboards were elaborately carved since they were placed in the room where dining took place. By the seventeenth century, the role of the pantry expanded to include all sorts of food. It became a small cold room near the kitchen. Cooked food like roasted meat, pies and other uneaten food items were stored there so that they could be served the next day. In large households, it was butler’s duty to take care of the pantry. It was this role that gave rise to butler’s pantry in the nineteenth century.
Difference Between Larder and Pantry
A larder is a cool and dry area for storing food while a pantry is a small room or a large cupboard to store food, beverages, crockery and cutlery.
A larder is usually larger than a pantry. A pantry is usually a small room or a large cupboard.
Type of Food
Larders were commonly used to store larded meat, game, uncooked meat and vegetables while pantries were used to store items like bread, roasted meat and pies.
Moreover, larders were mainly used to store food while pantries are also used to store kitchenware in addition to food.
The main difference between larder and pantry is that larder is a cool and dry area for storing food while the pantry is a small room or a large cupboard to store food, beverages, crockery and cutlery.
1. “Pantry and Larder.” Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Encyclopedia.com, 16 Aug. 2020, Available here.
2. “Larder.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 May 2020, Available here.
1. “Home Farm larder, Beamish Museum, 17 May 2011” By Pauline E (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Built-in pantry” By Downtowngal – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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