Lockers still exist in small towns, at least through the plains.
I figured they did, especially for hunters and people who might butcher some of their livestock.
That’s exactly who uses them. Many of the facilities are also certified butcher shops/USDA approved.
We had a meat locker for when we butchered our hogs and had a side of beef from friends.
The ultimate Beer Fridge!
A lot of places had what they called a “stillroom”, which was kept cooler, and which furthered things like making cheese, pickling, brewing, etc. Grace Firth’s “Stillroom Cookery” is a classic.
I remember my parents having a freezer locker, and I once represented one of the last surviving locker operators in the Seattle area, where I kept a lot of game. These places were COLD–whereas a typical modern freezer is kept at 0F, the warmest commercial lockers were minus 10-20F. Even with heavy winter clothing, hats and gloves, the cold was painful. When that heavy door closed behind you, your constant thought was “Let me out of here!” But these lockers really did preserve food better and longer.
I searched in vain for any remaining freezer lockers in my metro area. Some independent meat processors, but nothing for the urban hunter, if they even exist. I’m sure we have ice companies left, but not storage.
You might search for commercial cold storage places, but I’m not optimistic you’ll find consumer lockers available. My client rented some larger size spaces to commercial fishermen and purveyors of exotic meats.
Where are you?
A fun read
Central California coast, here. Growing up, our (original family and our next generation) houses had built in “coolers”. Essentially, closets or shelved pantries with screened floors and a screen open to the outdoors. In fact, our current (built in 1910) house had such a cupboard in its “butler’s pantry” off the kitchen. We closed it off and use it for dishes, glassware and booze.
My aunt used it for butter, condiments, produce.
I did! I suspect I might have found one such commercial setup; unfortunately they don’t have a website and the building is totally obscured by an on ramp to an overpass, so street view is useless to determine what it is they do. They are near rail lines.
I also grew up on the Central California coast.
When we first moved here to the So. Oregon coast we lived off the grid for a year. We build a “cooler” pantry. It was lined with Styrofoam and a portion of the outside wall was screen. Among other things, it is where we kept our pickling and wine making projects.
we still do the same when at our home in greece; after the afternoon meal we nap and businesses close (except in tourist areas). it takes some getting used to at first, as i could easily sleep through to the next day.
I will have to ask my cousin if it’s still the custom. Universal air conditioning has changed a lot of practices…
Also, the big meal of the day was “dinner” - at lunchtime. What most people call dinner was called “supper” - light, usually leftovers from “dinner.” I think “lunch” as a term was reserved for when you ate out, at least in my grandmother’s parlance.
Where you live in Greece, is there a communal oven that will bake your meals to order?
my husband’s family has a home in a village outside of Ioannina. We haven’t been there in some time but i do recall a visit when my mother-in-law brought some casserole dishes over to the baker to cook in his ovens.
The communal oven idea appeals to me. Keeping houses cooler, conserving energy, allowing long and timed bakes for busy people, building community, it all makes sense to me.
I’m curious how many people here would consider using a communal oven if they could.
Yes, my older aunts did this every day in the Midwest US. The practice lasted the longest (until the 1980s) on a Kentucky farm. Kept off flies. No reason to put away the lunch food only to bring it out again 5 hours later for dinner. NOT used for mayonnaise-based foods. Very practical. Even after electricity and refrigeration were common, my extended family still did this.