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Food Rationing During WWII

Discussion in 'The Home Front' started by Jim, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

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    Points for Treats

    A welcome adjunct to basic food rationing was the "points system" introduced in December 1941. Everyone received the same number of "points" which initially covered tinned fish, meat and beans, non-perishable foods, but soon spread to other items. As points varied according to availability, a housewife could chose to blow them all on a luxury, like a tin of red salmon, or spread them across several "lower points" foods. Sweet and chocolate rationing began on 26 July 1942. At first it was 8oz (226g), it increased to 16oz (453g) and finally settled at 12oz (340g) for a four week period for the rest of the war.

    There were calls for tinned food to go "on the ration" but this was resisted by the Ministry of Food which introduced a "points" system for such commodities in December 1941 since the supply could not be guaranteed.

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    The realities of wartime. Leonora K. Green's painting Coupons Required, 1941, showing a week's rations for a family after two years at war.

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    Shop keepers could become quite powerful people as a result of wartime rationing, and it was well worth cultivating a friendship with your local retailer since some scarce foodstuff might be kept "under the counter" for favoured customers.

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    Dried eggs imported from the US under the Lend Lease scheme. Acceptable for baking, few found powdered eggs an adequate substitute in scrambled eggs or omelettes.

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  2. Jim

    Jim Active Member

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    The ration book for a ten year old girl in 1943. A child of that age would be entitled to the some provisions as an adult plus an extra allowance of milk and eggs.

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    A butcher in south London scissors out the necessary coupons from a housewife's ration book on 8 January 1940, the first day of rationing.

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  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Saw a programme on the 1951 Festival of Britain which mentioned the attempts to popularise Whale meat during the war.
    Never heard of that one, so had to look it up.
    Yeuch. Used to run for cover when I smelt my mother cooking tripe, and that was in the Seventies.
    Whale, Actually
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Well, at least it was dehydrated. :D
     
  5. Biak

    Biak Boy from Illinois Staff Member

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    Or Lutefisk !!
    upload_2023-3-2_17-40-27.png
    Lutefisk is an interesting food because, unless you speak Norwegian (lutefisk) or Swedish (lutfisk), the name alone does not shed any light on what it actually is. Making things even trickier, if one were to show lutefisk to someone who has never heard of it, he or she still probably wouldn't know what it is.
    The word "lutefisk" translates to "lye fish," which is the first clue regarding this mystery meal, but it looks unlike any seafood most people have ever seen. It's white, semi-translucent, and, weirdest of all, gelatinous. Honestly, it looks like a cross between fat cells and some type of jellyfish Jell-O.
    Lutefisk is whitefish — which refers to several species of finned fish such as cod, ling, or burbot — that has been air-dried and may or may not be salted. (The unsalted version is also known as "stockfish.") It is first soaked in cold water for five or six days, with the water changed daily. The now-saturated fish is then soaked again for two days in an unchanged solution of cold water and lye. Lye, for the record, is a substance obtained by leaching ashes, and is also known as sodium hydroxide. After this weeklong process, the fish loses half of its protein and gains a jelly-like consistency. At this point it is also caustic (you may remember lye as the stuff Tyler Durden used in Fight Club to cause chemical burns and also make soap), so it needs another four to six days of soaking in cold water, refreshed daily, before it is ready to be cooked. Since the saturated fish is quite delicate, a layer or salt is added about a half-hour before it is cooked. This releases some of the water being held. It is then placed in a sealed pan and steam cooked on low heat for 20-25 minutes, or wrapped in aluminum foil and baked at 435 degrees F for 40-50 minutes.

    Edit note: (Then it's best to throw the clump in the trash and have a pizza)

    Read More: What in the Heck Is a Lutefisk, and Why Do Minnesotans Eat It?

    Read More: What in the Heck Is a Lutefisk, and Why Do Minnesotans Eat It?

    Heading for the cellar and find JackB's thread on WW2 foods !
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Mom related that her parents were called to the ration office to get their books. Her parents were share-croppers who rarely saw any significant amount of cash money. When the board explained how much they could buy with points Granny laughed out loud. "We ain't never gonna have that much money!" They survived to raise six girls and two boys so it was all good.
     
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  7. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Still have some rations stamps around here somewhere, though without going box diving, they may be just for gas rationing.
     
  8. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Aye. I'll stick to a good chicken curry.
     
  9. Fatboy Coxy

    Fatboy Coxy Member

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    Ah, but you wouldn't then, your upbringing would have you saying, "I'm not eating that foreign muck, bangers and mash for me!
     
  10. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Aye, probably. :D
     

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