Daily Archives: June 1, 2008

Where’s the larder?

I’ve just had a pint of good English beer with my meal. As one does from time to time.

It’s a premium beer with a great flavour. But not, alas, at its very best. In this season, my kitchen – in common with the rest of the flat – is rather too warm. English beer is famous for being “warm”, but that really just means warmer than refrigerated, not summer temperatures. My kitchen in winter keeps beer at an excellent temperature. Alas not in summer, and keeping it in the fridge is no solution, because that’s far too cold for English beer to retain any decent flavour. That’s one reason I drink more Weizenbier in summer: it’s great to drink well chilled on a hot day.

Traditionally, the right place to keep English beer is a cellar, but ever fewer of us have any such thing these days.

All of which reminds me of the time in Italy, when I had to replace the fridge/freezer provided by my then-landlord, after it had packed up once too often. I went to a big superstore selling lots of white goods, to take a look at what was available. What I picked up had not just fridge and freezer sections, but a third compartment which was kept at about 12°, notionally for fruit and veg in the Italian summer. Great – in that climate, a larder was really useful!

With our English summer, it’s less necessary than in Italy for our fruit&veg – though it would nevertheless be nice. But a store at 12° would be ideal for English beer, too.

Why don’t we see those 3-compartment fridge/freezer/larders here in the UK?

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