A 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 , 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 grocery stores that obviate the need to store food for long periods.


In medieval households the larder was an office responsible for meat and fish, as well as the room where these commodities were kept. It was headed by a larderer. The office was subordinated to the kitchen, and only existed as a separate office in larger households. It was closely connected with other offices of the kitchen, such as the saucery and the scullery. [cite book | first = C. M. | last = Woolgar | authorlink = | title = The Great Household in Late Medieval England | edition = | publisher = Yale University Press | location = New Haven and London | year = 1999 | page = pp. 111, 144 | id = ISBN 0-300-07687-8 | url = ]

Larders were used in the Indus River Valley to store bones of oxen, sheep, and goats. These larders were made of large clay pots [p.142 of Early Indus Civilizations ]


ee also

*Food storage

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • larder — [ larde ] v. tr. <conjug. : 1> • 1175; de lard 1 ♦ Piquer (une pièce de viande) de lardons introduits dans l épaisseur du morceau. ⇒ entrelarder. Larder du bœuf à braiser avec une lardoire. 2 ♦ Par anal. (Techn.) Garnir (une pièce de bois)… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • larder — v. act. Mettre des lardons à de la viande. Un Rotisseur qui larde bien, qui larde bien proprement. larder de la viande dru & menu. larder de gros lard. On dit fig. Larder de coups d espée, pour dire, Percer de plusieurs coups d espée …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • larder — (n.) c.1300, supply of salt pork, bacon, and other meats, later in reference to the room for processing and storing such (late 14c.), from Anglo Fr. larder, O.Fr. lardier a place for meats, from M.L. lardarium a room for meats, from L. lardum… …   Etymology dictionary

  • larder — Larder, Lardo transfigere. Larder de fleches, Configere sagittis. Fumée lardée de flambes, id est, entremeslée …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Larder — Lard er (l[aum]rd [ e]r), n. [OF. lardier. See {Lard}, n.] A room or place where meat and other articles of food are kept before they are cooked. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • larder — [n] provisions food supply, groceries, pantry, provender, stock, storage, supplies; concepts 140,712 …   New thesaurus

  • larder — ► NOUN ▪ a room or large cupboard for storing food. ORIGIN originally denoting a store of meat: from Latin lardarium, from lardum lard …   English terms dictionary

  • larder — [lär′dər] n. [ME < OFr lardier, orig., storehouse for bacon < ML lardarium < L lardum, LARD] 1. a place where the food supplies of a household are kept; pantry 2. a supply of food; provisions …   English World dictionary

  • larder — (lar dé) v. a. 1°   Mettre des lardons dans la viande.    Absolument. Un rôtisseur qui larde bien. 2°   Familièrement. Larder quelqu un de coups d épée, le percer de plusieurs coups d épée.    Larder un cheval, lui donner si fort et si souvent de …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Larder — This interesting surname is an Anglo French metonymic occupational name for a high official in the retinue of a royal or noble household. The surname is equally recorded in many spellings forms in both countries. The official position of Larder… …   Surnames reference

  • LARDER — v. a. Mettre des lardons dans la viande. Larder de la viande dru et menu, la larder de gros lard.   Il s emploie quelquefois absolument. Un rôtisseur qui larde bien, qui larde proprement. Fig. et fam., Larder quelqu un de coups d épée, Le percer… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

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