How did people store food before the invention of the refrigerator?
- tellitlikeitisLv 77 months agoFavorite Answer
Cold rooms and ice houses. I was born in UK before domestic refrigerators. At home we had what was called a 'larder'. This was a walk-in cupboard on the north side of the kitchen wall that caught little sun. Inside were several air-bricks to allow for ventilation. There were two marble shelves (which are always cold to the touch), and anything needing to be kept cool was placed on these. There was also a meat-safe, a cabinet with wire sides for storing raw and cooked meats, that flies could not get into. Butter and fats were stored in earthenware over trays of cold water. Generally more foods were eaten at room temperature than we do today. Such as tomatoes and eggs, which do not need refrigeration. We lived in a city, but as a country-woman, my mother would bring home game from her visits there; mostly rabbit and hare, and these were hung, nose down on hooks suspended from the roof of the larder until ready for skinning and preparation for cooking.
Large houses built ice houses for a supply of ice. They were constructed underground and in winter, servants cut big blocks of ice from frozen lakes on country estates and these were kept in the ice house and taken to the house when needed, as aids to chilling foods in kitchens.
Other methods included salting, and from the 19th century, canning.
- 7 months ago
In some cultures in rural communities, certain categories of foods were hung above the fireplace to dry the up. Examples are meats, grains. they could last for weeks.
- ClickmanLv 47 months ago
salt and drying , meat was often consumed all in short time like Hawaii luau -- everyone had some of it
this is why people live longer (refrigeration and transportation via the internal combustion engine) not medical as much as they want you to think -- yes medical does add to it, but much medical treatment is also due to internal combustion engine and refrigeration for vaccinations
prior starvation was the main cause of death (malnutrition) and in third world areas still is
- Const. KingLv 77 months ago
Ice boxes were used. We still have one.
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- bluLv 77 months ago
A granary is a storehouse for threshed grain. These date back centuries.
Meats were cured to be preserved.
The first canned food was 1810.
Pickling dates back many centuries.
Ice boxes were the forerunner of the refrigerator.
- Victor BLv 47 months ago
By salting or drying in the sun.
- curtisports2Lv 77 months ago
Originally, meats were salted or dried. Vegetables could be dried. Those who lived in cold climates learned, of course, that packing snow and ice around foods kept them longer.
When canning was invented, first in glass jars and then in tins, the life of foods was greatly extended. The wealthy could afford to have large storage units that could be packed with slabs of ice cut from lakes and ponds during winter months and shipped many miles. These first 'iceboxes' eventually gave way to the smaller inhome versions that were affordable to the middle class, until modern refrigeration came about.
- lenpol7Lv 77 months ago
In Sugar, Salt or alcohol.
Icing sugar over bread/cake will preserve it.
Salt in the form of brine will preserve meats.
Some foods will not preish, e.g. cheese.
Another food stuff that does not go ff is honey.
Grains for bread making must be kept dry.
Some fruits e.g. apples can be wrapped in waxed paper.
NB Ice could be collected from frozen rievrs and stored in deep cisterns to keep it from melting, thereby preserve food.
A lot of foods ,be it meat or vegetables/fruit can be left alive, there by it does not perish. Many animals/vegetables would only be killed/harvested when there was a need to eat it.
Many people just had to eat seasonal foodstuffs.
- AthenaLv 77 months ago
It depends on how long BEFORE the invention of the refrigerator you are talking about.
- Anonymous7 months ago
root cellars, etc. which stay cooler
saved winter ice to keep food fresher