Home Taste Celebrate D-Day anniversary with food from the past!

Celebrate D-Day anniversary with food from the past!

by Richard 5th June 2015
Rationing poster used during World War II

Saturday 6th June 2015 marks the 71st anniversary of the D-Day landings on Normandy’s beaches – an event that marked the beginning of the end of World War II. To commemorate this year’s D-Day anniversary we thought it’d be jolly nice to recapture the wartime spirit by giving food from that era a deserved revival! Read on and find easy recipes for you to try at home!

What is D-Day?

D-Day was – and still is – the largest military operation by sea in history: more than 150,000 allied troops landed on the coast of northern France at 6.30am on 6th June 1944. The fighting actually continued for 10 weeks, but the victory in Normandy caused the depleted German forces to retreat.

What does food have to do with it?

During the war, German submarines attacked ships that brought food to Britain, which meant that it was in shorter supply and people across Britain had to make do with less than before.

[responsive-image id=’2866′ align=’center’ caption=’Rationing began during World War II’ alt=’Rationing poster using during World War II’]

The Government introduced rationing in 1940 and began to teach people how to be self-sufficient and frugal with the food that they had. People found new ways of using leftovers, old ingredients, and ways to make things that lasted a long time. Literally nothing was wasted!

D-Day anniversary and camping

These wartime attitudes towards food can be relevant today, especially if you’re camping abroad. Making your own meals on holiday gives plenty of opportunity to be creative, resourceful, and save on spending too!

Celebrate this year’s D-Day anniversary with a few of these wartime recipes and you could recreate them on your next family holiday! And if you fancy experiencing history for yourself, explore this range of D-Day holidays to Normandy.

Making bread go further

Bread is a staple shopping list item and the French are famous for it. If you enjoy camping holidays in France, buying fresh loaves or baguettes each morning is part of the experience. [responsive-image id=’2868′ align=’right’ caption=’A bag of baguettes!’ alt=’Woman with bag of baguettes’]

The trouble is, a lot of it is thrown away because it can go out of date quickly. So the wartime mentality was to get creative in the kitchen and come up with a number of bread-based snacks. Here are some you can try for yourself:

  • Fairy Toast: Cut your leftover bread into wafer thin slices, bake in the oven until golden brown and then store in an airtight tin. It makes a good standby to have in place of bread or plain biscuits, and it’ll keep for months
  • Wheatmealies: If the loaf has already gone a bit stale, cut half a dozen slices into half-inch squares, bake in a slow oven until brown and crisp and serve with milk (and a dash of sugar, if preferred).
  • Poor Knights Fritters: Bring jam into the equation! Make sandwiches with the jam, cut into four fingers or triangles and then fry in a little hot fat, turning once until browned on both sides – then sprinkle with sugar. They might not be particularly good for you, but they made a lovely sweet snack back when treats really were in short supply.
  • Don’t chuck the cheese!

  • Cheese is more versatile than you think and can accompany just about any meal. You can add grated cheese to biscuit dough, or add it to rolled-out pastry – which can be cut into shapes, baked in the oven and served with salads or tea.
  • Sprinkling it over cabbage and other vegetables at mealtimes was common. Cheese was also used when meat was in short supply, so things like cheese hot-pots were a thing!
  • Your turn to try!

  • There are loads of recipes you could try to celebrate D-Day anniversary – too many for us to cover here. If you decide to give any of our recipes a go – or maybe recipes handed down from your gran – we’d love to see the results (especially if you’re camping too!) Share your food pics on our Facebook page, or tag us on Twitter or Instagram.

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