It’s a real misconception that in the past, even the recent past in our parents day, that British people were timid and unadventurous with food, were hopeless cooks, overdid everything, and had a restricted diet… Even during the war when rationing was very strict on just about every food item you could imagine, people would try to be different and adventurous with what they produced for their families. It makes me crossed when fun is made of housewives who tried to be inventive – for example, a hundred different ways to serve snook (snoek was a type of mackerel bought in tins)
Looking back before the war, cookery books and radio programmes were really popular; My 1930’s Modern practical Cookery is over seven hundred pages long, with sections on different sorts of ingredients, courses and food. I was looking through the salad section and as I mentioned in a previous post, people enjoyed a terrific mixture of different things in their salads, fresh fruit, tinned fruit, dried fruit, herbs, sauces and dressings, meat fish, cheese, eggs boiled or pickled, cooked and raw vegetables, pasta, rice…. There seems a fascination with recipes from other countries although how authentic they are I have no idea… maybe it’s just what people imagined was eaten elsewhere!
- Danish – macaroni, beetroot, celery, capers, a boiled egg and salad cream
- French – lettuce and French dressing – for variety add roast meat
- Italian – macaroni, raw grated carrot, cooked French beans, spring onions, lettuce, french dressing and mayonnaise
- Japanese – lettuce, apple, orange, radishes, tinned pineapple, tomatoes, salad cream
Maybe I should try some of these, I may be surprised… and I mean surprised in a good way!