A kitchen as you may know is a room which is used for cooking and food preparation. A kitchen is the most frequented room in the house. Apart from cooking and food preparation, kitchens may also be used for food storage, dining, laundry, entertaining and dishing washing. Perhaps you have been wondering where kitchens came from. Here is brief history on kitchens:
• The origin of kitchen can be traced in ancient Greece. There were rooms which were arranged around a courtyard and used as kitchens by women.
• Homes of people who were considered wealthy during that time had a separate room which was usually next to the bathroom. This was to ensure that both rooms were heat by the kitchen fire and they were accessible from the court. There was also a separate storage room which was used to store kitchen utensils and food.
• In the Roman Empire, common folks did not have kitchens of their own. They used to cook in large public kitchens. Some of these kitchens had small bronze stoves which were mobile and a fire was usually lit for cooking. On the other hand, wealthy Romans had equipped kitchens.
• In a Roman villa, the kitchen was integrated into the main house as a separate room. This was for smoke practical lessons and it was operated by slaves. The fire place was on the floor and there were no chimneys.
This period saw the increase in the usage of kitchens.
• In the Early medieval Europe, long houses usually had open fires at the highest point of the building. There was an entrance to the kitchen area and a fire place. Wealthy homes had more than one kitchen with some homes even having three of them. These kitchens were divided based on the food which was prepared in them.
• In Japan, the usage of stoves started in the 3rd Century. These stoves known as kamado, were made of mortar and clay and they were fired with charcoal or wood. These stoves remained in use for many centuries with very minimal modifications.
• The kitchen was not largely affected by architectural advances in the middle Ages. Open fire was still used for heating food. However in the monasteries and castles, the working and the living areas were separated. The kitchen was no longer used to heat the living rooms.
• During period chimneys were invented and this changed the way kitchens used to be constructed. The hearth was moved from the centre of the kitchen to one wall while the fire was lit at the top of the construction.
The 19-20th century
This period saw major changes in the kitchen with technological advances contributing to these changes.
• Iron stoves which would enclose the fire completely were invented. There were also furnace stoves which were made for heating and not cooking.
• In England, a stove known as ’Rumford Stove’ was preferred by many people because it conserved energy than the earlier stoves. This stove would heat several stoves at the same time using one fire.
• The 20th Century was marked by kitchens with in-built cabinetry. The baker’s cabinet was used for storage. Another type of cabinet known as Hoosier cabinet was equipped with various racks and hardware to organize and hold spices and other types of food.
• The urbanization in this period brought significant changes to the kitchen. Cities began to make plans on water distribution pipes into homes and sewers were built to deal with the increase of waste water. Gas pipes were laid by municipalities and people began to use gas in their kitchens.
• During this period, electricity was commonly used in domestic and commercial kitchens. Towards the end of the 20th century there was shift from the usage of gas to the usage of electricity in many kitchens.
The 21st Century
This century has seen major improvements in the kitchen.
• There has been a re-integration of the living area and the kitchen. Cooking is viewed as a creative and a social art instead of work. Families prefer to have open kitchens as it is easier for parents to supervise the children while they are cooking.
• Most kitchens are now equipped with sophisticated and expensive kitchen appliances. Appliances such as refrigerators and ovens are common in many kitchens. Apart from just cooking, some people use these appliances to project their social status and impress their visitors.
• Modern designs are also evident in many contemporary kitchens. People want to have modern kitchen cabinets which are not just for storage but are appealing to the eye. People want their kitchens to be elegant and beautiful and this century has seen incorporation of trendy interior designs in the kitchen.
It is expected that the kitchen will continue to evolve. Let us look forward and see what the kitchen will look like in the future. If you want to upgrade your kitchen to reflect the modern kitchen in the 21st century, contact us. We have the best kitchen cabinets in Calgary which could transform your kitchen. Call us to find out more!