Published at Sunday, August 18th 2019. by Images Collector in Kitchen.
Leonardo da Vinci invented an automated system for a rotating spit for spit-roasting: a propeller in the chimney made the spit turn all by itself. This kind of system was widely used in wealthier homes. Beginning in the late Middle Ages, kitchens in Europe lost their home-heating function even more and were increasingly moved from the living area into a separate room. The living room was now heated by cocklestoves, operated from the kitchen, which offered the huge advantage of not filling the room with smoke.
Before and after the beginning of the 20th century, kitchens were frequently not equipped with built-in cabinetry, and the lack of storage space in the kitchen became a real problem. The Hoosier Manufacturing Co. of Indiana adapted an existing furniture piece, the bakers cabinet, which had a similar structure of a table top with some cabinets above it (and frequently flour bins beneath) to solve the storage problem. By rearranging the parts and taking advantage of (then) modern metal working, they were able to produce a well-organized, compact cabinet which answered the home cooks needs for storage and working space. A distinctive feature of the Hoosier cabinet is its accessories. As originally supplied, they were equipped with various racks and other hardware to hold and organize spices and various staples. One useful feature was the combination flour-bin/sifter, a tin hopper that could be used without having to remove it from the cabinet. A similar sugar bin was also common.
Freed from smoke and dirt, the living room thus began to serve as an area for social functions and increasingly became a showcase for the owners wealth. In the upper classes, cooking and the kitchen were the domain of the servants, and the kitchen was set apart from the living rooms, sometimes even far from the dining room. Poorer homes often did not yet have a separate kitchen; they kept the one-room arrangement where all activities took place, or at the most had the kitchen in the entrance hall.
Early medieval European longhouses had an open fire under the highest point of the building. The "kitchen area" was between the entrance and the fireplace. In wealthy homes there was typically more than one kitchen. In some homes there were upwards of three kitchens. The kitchens were divided based on the types of food prepared in them. In place of a chimney, these early buildings had a hole in the roof through which some of the smoke could escape. Besides cooking, the fire also served as a source of heat and light to the single-room building. A similar design can be found in the Iroquois longhouses of North America. In the larger homesteads of European nobles, the kitchen was sometimes in a separate sunken floor building to keep the main building, which served social and official purposes, free from indoor smoke.
The houses in Ancient Greece were commonly of the atrium-type: the rooms were arranged around a central courtyard for women. In many such homes, a covered but otherwise open patio served as the kitchen. Homes of the wealthy had the kitchen as a separate room, usually next to a bathroom (so that both rooms could be heated by the kitchen fire), both rooms being accessible from the court. In such houses, there was often a separate small storage room in the back of the kitchen used for storing food and kitchen utensils.
Starting in the 1980s, the perfection of the extractor hood allowed an open kitchen again, integrated more or less with the living room without causing the whole apartment or house to smell. Before that, only a few earlier experiments, typically in newly built upper-middle-class family homes, had open kitchens. Examples are Frank Lloyd Wrights House Willey (1934) and House Jacobs (1936). Both had open kitchens, with high ceilings (up to the roof) and were aired by skylights. The extractor hood made it possible to build open kitchens in apartments, too, where both high ceilings and skylights were not possible.
The first known stoves in Japan date from about the same time. The earliest findings are from the Kofun period (3rd to 6th century). These stoves, called kamado, were typically made of clay and mortar; they were fired with wood or charcoal through a hole in the front and had a hole in the top, into which a pot could be hanged by its rim. This type of stove remained in use for centuries to come, with only minor modifications. Like in Europe, the wealthier homes had a separate building which served for cooking. A kind of open fire pit fired with charcoal, called irori, remained in use as the secondary stove in most homes until the Edo period (17th to 19th century). A kamado was used to cook the staple food, for instance rice, while irori served both to cook side dishes and as a heat source.
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