Pantry, buttery, larder and scullery
A pantry (Fr. ‘panetterie’) was traditionally a small storeroom for bread and other dry goods, as well as for preparing food. It is seen in British architecture from the 11th and 12th centuries onwards as one of two rooms which were provided at the ends of hall houses (and so away from the entrance).
The second store room in a typical hall house was the buttery (Fr. boutellerie = butt and bottle store) where wine and ale were decanted and stored, along with flagons and cups. Contrary to common belief, the buttery was not for storing butter.
The larder (lard) was a small room for storing bacon and other meats. In Victorian times, it was often used for food preparation. (Large houses and estates in Victorian times would often have separate rooms for storing and preparing food).
With the advent of larger, better-equipped kitchens in 20th century houses, pantries, butteries, larders and sculleries became virtually obsolete. Today however, the pantry is enjoying a comeback in British and American homes. This is thought to be due to its practicality, homely charm and a nostalgia associated with bygone ages.
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