Mason Jars

...Misc. Pantry Topics

  • Why a Pantry?
  • Pantry Chef
  • Pantry Terms
  • Larder
  • Pantry Pests


Pantries have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the 1990's.  Some credit a renewed focus on home life and perhaps fondness of the pantries of yesteryear and simpler times.  More than likely, the increase of consumerism in this country has filled our kitchens overflowing with material goods that we need to manage.

As homes grow larger (it is estimated that houses are now 50% bigger than the homes at the turn of the century), space allows the pantry to be added back into kitchen design.


A well-designed pantry saves money two ways:


1)  It allows the homeowner to buy food in bulk when prices are low

2)  A well-established pantry location requires a lesser-investment in kitchen cabinets for both a new kitchen design, or when remodeling is required

Efficiently designed kitchens help to place and locate things easily. These days, a kitchen pantry can range from a kitchen cupboard to walk-in room. A well-planned kitchen pantry can eliminate the need for extra kitchen cabinets and storage needs within the kitchen itself.



Pantry Chef  is in charge of Garde Mange (cold food) - also known as a cold-foods chef (Garde Manger).  Pantry Chefs are responsible for preparing cold foods, including salads, cold appetizers, pâtés and other charcuterie items.

Taken from Wikipedia




Baker's pantry A pantry designated for baking staples and dishes related to the task of baking.

Baker's Rack is an open rack that bakers display baked goods on.  Today, it has come into use as both storage and display in the kitchen.  Browse baker's racks here...

Freestanding pantry means a pantry standing unsupported or without attachment.  Pantry furniture would fall into this category.  Read more about pantry furniture here.


Hallway pantry If you have a wall that defines one edge of a hallway or walkway, you can decrease its width by 10 to 12 inches and add a pantry.  This can provide efficient food storage in a small amount of space.


Pantry Garage An appliance garage or tambour door storage for countertop small appliances


Pantry Challenge - means trying to use everything up that is in your pantry instead of stopping in at the grocery store.


Specialized pantry A pantry designated to one special use, such as a "cook's pantry," "baker's pantry," or "gourmet pantry."



Larder is a cool area for storing food prior to use. Larders were commonplace in houses before the widespread use of the refrigerator.

Essential qualities of a larder are that it should be:

  • as cool as possible
  • close to food preparation areas
  • constructed so as to exclude flies and vermin
  • easy to keep clean
  • equipped with shelves and cupboards appropriate to the food being stored.

In the northern hemisphere, most houses would arrange to have their larder and kitchen on the north or east side of the house where it received least sun. In Australia and New Zealand larders were placed on the south or east sides of the house for the same reason.

Many larders have small unglazed windows with the window opening covered in fine mesh. This allows free circulation of air without allowing flies to enter. Many larders have tiled or painted walls to simplify cleaning. Older larders and especially those in larger houses have hooks in the ceiling to hang joints of meat or game. Others have insulated containers for ice, anticipating the future development of refrigerators.

A pantry may contain a thrawl, which is a term used in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, and is a stone slab or shelf used to keep food cool in the days before refrigeration was domestically available. In the late medieval hall, a thrawl would have been appropriate to a larder. In a large or moderately large nineteenth century house, all these rooms will have been placed as low in the building as possible and convenient, in order to use the mass of the ground to retain a low summer temperature. For this reason, a buttery was usually called the cellar by this stage.

Very few modern houses have larders since this need is now satisfied by refrigerators and freezers, and by the convenience of modern food stores that obviate the need to store food for long periods.

SOURCE:  Wikipedia


PANTRY AND LARDER. In modern parlance, pantry and larder are used interchangeably to designate a place where food is stored. Historically, the two were once separate areas with very narrowly defined functions. During the Middle Ages, food was purchased in bulk; therefore, storage rooms were required for different types of food.

The larder was originally a cool room or cellar for storing meats, especially meats put down in large barrels or crocks of lard—hence the name. It was once common practice to partially cook meats and sausages, and then cover them with rendered lard until needed. Dried or smoked meats were generally stored in a loft or garret away from dampness. This division of function led to the evolution of the terms wet larder (cool room or cellar) and dry larder. The wet larder was used not only for meats stored in lard, but also as a holding room for uncooked meat, game, and vegetables.


"Pantry and Larder." Encyclopedia of Food & Culture. Ed. Solomon H. Katz. Vol. 3. Gale Group, Inc., 2003. 2006. 18 Aug, 2007 <





Pantry Pests
Pkg of 4 Pantry Moth Traps
Pests in the pantry, oh dear!  Missouri extension tells us this about our friends of the pantry:

"Cereal grain products and other foods stored in kitchen cabinets, pantries or other areas in the home may become infested with insects or other organisms. These food invaders are commonly referred to as pantry pests."

Read the complete article written by Missouri extension here.  It covers prevention as well as a detailed list of pests including:

  • Flour and grain beetles: saw-toothed grain beetle, confused flour beetle and red flour beetle, cigarette beetle and drugstore beetle, hide beetle, cabinet beetle, carpet beetle, larder beetles

  • Weevils:  seed weevils, grain weevils,

  • Spider beetles

  • Meal worms: yellow meal-worm and dark mealworm

  • Flour moth

  • Indian meal moth

  • Mediterranean flour moth

  • Grain moths: angoumois moth

  • Psocids

  • Grain Mites

pantry pest
Laura Jesse, Iowa State University
ISU Dept of Entemology

pantry pest
Dept of Entemology, UW Madison, Wisconsin