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Ever wonder how people kept fruits and vegetables fresh before refrigerators were invented? It's not too complicated: They'd either eat them right away, preserve them via pickling or canning, or throw them in ice boxes.
In reality, there are a lot of ways to preserve food, but we in the modern era can't imagine much beyond the convenience of a refrigerator. That's why it's refreshing to see a new product inspired by old school methods.
La Denise is a series of simple wooden containers that require zero electricity and allegedly preserve produce as effectively as a fridge. How do they accomplish this witchcraft? By adapting an age-old technique called "root cellaring."
The La Denise III, for instance, features compartments for potatoes, onions, and shallots, as well as a top surface where you can keep apples. La Denise II is a simple ceramic bowl filled with water and covered with wooden slats, designed to keep veggies hydrated—particularly those that can't tolerate the colder temps of your fridge. La Denise I features a simple layer of sand in a ceramic bed that traps moisture and ensures your carrots, leeks, beets, and other root veggies stay crisp and tasty.
These are clever products with an attractive, Swedish modern-style design—no argument there. I imagine anyone who frequents off-the-grid cabins in the Adirondacks would appreciate things like this, although I suppose they'd also be the type to cure their meat and scoff at veggies.
The biggest downside, naturally, is the price. The La Denise containers run between $230-$400 each. Pick up all three and you're looking at spending a bit less than you would for a new refrigerator.