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Collins Bespoken

Thoughts & Musings

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The Kitchen Larder

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The larder was once an essential spot used to store meat, cheese, milk and butter. Crammed with tinned delights and jars of pickled-everything, a larder could be found in homes up and down the country! However, modern technology took over, kitchen styles changed; and, the need for this traditional must-have dwindled.

But, fast-forward a few years and coming back in from the cold - the larder is once again a firm-favourite in bespoke kitchen design.

It’s renaissance is probably thanks to the desire to be ‘green’, coupled with a good dose of nostalgia. We’ve certainly been pleased to see the return!

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Meticulously hand-crafted and designed to suit our customers lifestyle, many of the kitchens we currently design and install are home to a larder. Offering the perfect storage solution with deep drawers and beautifully arranged racks for spices and condiments, it’s no wonder that the larder is now a timelessly pretty and super practical kitchen statement-piece.

To bring a contemporary twist to a very classic kitchen design, a Collins Bespoke larder can be integrated and flow seamlessly with your kitchen cabinetry .Or, if you had more traditional kitchen in mind - a freestanding larder is probably on the top of your design checklist!

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We love showing off our cabinetry and it’s quality, so when welcoming customers to our showroom for the first time, it’s always exciting to open up the larder doors. Why? Because, the handcrafted detail really is just as beautiful on the inside. It’s the opening of those larder doors that always gets the best reaction from our clients. The wow-factor.

And, it’s this reaction we want our customers to get every time they open up their very own larder doors at home.

Like our kitchens, a larder is thoroughly bespoke and is designed with you and your family in mind, so it’s always best to discuss the purpose of your larder with our designers. Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with the breakfast station idea that’s currently storming Instagram? By adding a few plug points for your toaster and kettle, along with storing your jams, bread, cereals, tea and coffee - you’ve all you need in one place for the most important meal of the day, on those sleepy but busy Monday mornings.

Or, perhaps you’ve thought about integrating your microwave into the design, to keep your worktop clutter to a minimum and creating a sleek, more modern feel? From choosing your natural wood finish and stone, to deciding on any internal lighting - a larder is yours to personalise. And, if you really want to make it extra special - we can engrave the drawers with your favourite ingredients, spices, words or family members names!

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So, what can a larder be used for storing? It turns out there are many things that really benefit from not being crammed into your fridge-freezer, lasting longer and tasting better when kept within a cool, dark place. Let’s bust some myths and share some facts:

  • Eggs - although the Food Standards Agency recommends you store eggs in the fridge to prevent the growth of salmonella, any good cook will tell you that eggs are better used at room temperature. Eggshells are porous, so eggs take on the flavour of foods stored in close proximity – keep them in their box to minimise the risk. Also, if do happen to keep your eggs in the fridge - within those little holders in the door - the movement of the door can degrade the quality of the whites - so they really are definitely best off in the larder!

  • Cheese - it’s best served at room temperature. Keep it wrapped up (preferably in waxed paper) and store in your larder for maximum flavour.

  • Avocados - those that need ripening should be kept well away from the fridge for four to seven days. Chilling them will prolong the process and can cause them to go off more quickly.

  • Honey - some do it, some don’t., but - storing honey in the fridge is a big no no. Low temperatures will cause it to crystallise and solidify.

  • Tomatoes - fridge temperatures damage tomatoes membranes, making them watery. Storing them in the fridge will dampen their flavour - yuck.

  • Other fruit - bananas, mangoes, strawberries, melons and peaches should be kept out of the fridge when ripening - just remember to keep the bananas separate from the rest.

  • Salad dressing - while you should definitely find space for creamier sauces in the fridge, many dressings are oil or vinegar-based and will be just fine left in the larder. In fact, those that are oil-based can actually spoil in cooler temperatures.

  • Chocolate - I know, I know. Many of us like it cold but the fridge is the worst place for your bar or box of chocolates. The temperature and moisture of the fridge can tamper with the taste, colour and texture. Chocolate (specifically the cocoa butter) also absorbs the smell of surrounding food, so it’s best kept away from other, odorous ingredients. Instead, (and if you don’t mind it being a little warmer) protect your chocolate in the larder - at the top - away from the hands of little ones.

  • Butter - it is virtually unspreadable straight from the fridge and it’s perfectly safe to store in a covered dish in a larder. Although, if you aren’t planning on using your butter within a few weeks - the fridge will help it stay fresher.

  • Ketchup - this one is still highly debated. But, because of its high vinegar, salt and sugar content it’s safe to store at room temperature without spoiling.

  • Peanut Butter - this can become hard and stodgy in the fridge"!. When it comes to natural peanut butter, it’s more of a grey area. The spread may last longer when kept in the fridge, but the oils generally separate and at cooler temperatures, it’s harder to mix the product back to the right consistency.

  • Picked veggies - as long as you’ve not contaminated the jar with a dirty spoon, the preservatives used in manufactured pickles mean they should last just fine in the larder freeing up precious fridge space. Make sure the lid is tight, and check the use-by date (and any specific instructions on the label).

  • Fresh vegetables - onions, courgettes, peppers, mushrooms and root veg, including potatoes, carrots and parsnips, all benefit from being kept in a cool, dark place – just not the fridge.

Space is a priority in most kitchens, it needs to accommodate cooking habits and freedom to move around. A kitchen larder enables you to do this. The style, sophistication and practicality of the larder is perfect for avid cooks and busy families alike.

We are proud of our larders. We are proud that our customers love our larders.

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