A pantry is where food is stored in a house, building, or other structure. In modern houses, the pantry generally contains canned and dry food items, although this area might also store bulk foods or wine in some cases. In addition, specific types of storage units have evolved from the typical pantry called “cabinets,” which can often be found in kitchens and other prep areas. The pantry usually contains shelving for canned goods and small drawers for dry foods.
The pantry’s contents are typically used to prepare meals for the rest of the household and sometimes to feed large numbers of people (such as during Thanksgiving). This might include items such as:
- Canfruit, vegetables and condiments;
- Baking products
- Spices and seasonings,
- Oil and vinegar products,
- Condiments (e.g., ketchup),
- Packaged meals (e.g., chicken nuggets);
- Snack foods (e.g., chips),
- Dairy products (milk).
Canned food is traditionally stored in a pantry or other storage area.
Canned foods are often associated with the American diet, staples of the pre-World War II American home canning industry, and the equally large postwar American refrigerated (pickled) food industry. Today, however, people use many different types and styles of food in their homes. For example, high-quality tomatoes are now available year-round in most supermarkets.
Canned foods can be stored for long periods.
Indeed, many canned products were developed to last for years. The popularity of canned food is due in part to the fact that it has a long shelf life. The main benefit is that there is less spoilage than with fresh food. However, canning also has other benefits, such as transporting food over long distances by ship (food preservation) and over the road (transportation). In addition, canned goods do not require refrigeration. However, some foods, such as meat and processed foods, deteriorate over time, regardless of the container.
The canning process itself reduces spoilage since the jars are sealed during processing. Once canned, most foods can be stored at room temperature for many months—at least from a few months up to several years—without appreciable deterioration in flavor or quality.
What can I use if I don’t have a pantry?
It’s a common misconception that the fridge is the only place to store food or other household items, but in reality, there are many different places to store your food. One of these spaces is as simple and as necessary as a pantry! However, if you don’t have one because of limited space, you might wonder, “What can I use if I don’t have a pantry?” Here’s what I recommend:
1. A shelf in the garage
The garage often has the perfect amount of floor space and room for some shelving units. In addition, the garage is convenient because it’s less likely to be affected by temperature changes in your home.
2. A cupboard in the bathroom
A bathroom cupboard with a door (such as the cabinets) is a great place to store your food. It’s rarely used, making it a great place to store food you’re not using as often. Bathroom cupboards also tend to have soft closers on their doors, so there will be less noise when you use the door later and no more rattling afterward!
3. Bookshelves or storage units in your bedroom or living room.
If you have a home office, that would also make an excellent place for storing your food. In a bedroom, there’s also likely to be room for a bookcase that can hold large quantities of your food and provide extra storage space.
4. A pantry in a laundry room or another area.
You can easily make a pantry out of shelving units and cupboards like the ones above. It will give you plenty of storage space without taking up too much space in your home.
5. A cupboard or space in a garage or shed.
A large storage unit for your family to share will also make a great pantry. So often, these are areas that are hard to reach and easy to forget about. However, if you have the space available, it can serve as a helpful and convenient place to store your food.
6. A shelf in the garage shed or using a small fridge.
Small fridges are practical and convenient for storing food. In addition, they’re portable, and you can take them with you when you travel, making them a great choice if your family enjoys trips to the beach or park.
Don’t just buy a pantry because everyone else has one. Instead, ask people who use it what they keep there and what they find helpful. If you’re not sharing the storage space, it’s a good idea to ask people what they use it for, so you’ll be able to make the most of it! As you can see, there are plenty of ways to store your food. The best part is that these options are likely available in your home.