Food during Wartime, Part 2: Recipes



Rations for 1 person in Britain during WWII







In my June 21 blog, I discussed how food was viewed during WWI in America and how marketing was used to persuade food rationing. Understanding how we view and consume food in the past shapes our relationship to it today. It is also something that has been intriguing me lately. This week I want to give you some WWII recipes from Britain. This is a practical application of the data that ‘food will win the war’ we looked at last week. Hopefully this is a more lighthearted look at food data for the lazy, hazy days of summer.

In my research I came across an amazing blog by Carolyn Ekins who has lived on a British WWII ration diet on at least two separate occasions and discusses 150 recipes in great detail. Her story of health and frugality is truly inspirational and I’d agree that we can learn more about health from this by-gone era. The Telegraph has a great article that includes images from the original WWI ration recipes. FishCurryOne particular recipe that caught my eye was for the “Fish Curry” that uses minimal ingredients for a flavorful dish.

The British, Canadian, American (and probably others) palettes were strongly influenced by WWII rations and TelegraphSemolinaPuddingpeople simply had to make do with the available food. The US exported dried milk, eggs and SPAM to Britain. In Britain each person received one packet of dried egg, the equivalent to a dozen eggs, each month beginning in 1942. The food and rationing situation was not as dire in America of course during WWII. Americans did not have to endure the flavors of dried egg as the suggested monthly egg market order per person was 1 ½ dozen.

The cookbooks and recipes during the 1940s and early 1950s also offered substitution and other suggestions in a major effort to educate women on the home front struggling to preserve their kitchen prowess and feed their families. Now which WWII recipe sounds most appealing to you and would you be most willing to try? Perhaps the Fish Curry, the Semolina Pudding or the Ham Loaf?



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