Wednesday, October 07, 2009

More on Breadless Breakfasts.

In yesterday’s post we considered the US response to the necessity to conserve wheat during WW I. The necessity was even greater in Britain, which was very dependent on imports of wheat to meet demand. As in the US during the war, newspapers in Britain worked hard to invoke patriotic sentiments in order to encourage householders to do their bit to reduce wheat consumption, and assisted by supplying recipes for substitutes.

The concept of any meal without bread was just as difficult to accept in Britain (and Europe) as it was in the USA. In Britain, potatoes were an obvious starchy substitute, but maize an unfamiliar and not particularly popular (and very “American”) alternative. The Times of April 13, 1917 ran an article headed Breadless Meals: Palatable Substitutes for Wheat, and suggested that the obvious place to start was at breakfast. The article read, in part:

“The greatest saving in flour can be effected at breakfast, at wihc meal bread usually takes a prominent place. It is suggested that economy in the consumption of bread exercised at the earliest meal of the day is likely to be continued at other meals. To avoid as far as possible such breakfast dishes as necessitate the eating of bread with them is an excellent plan. Perhaps the best dish of all is porridge. The porridge habit has been growing, but those who do not care for it and those who find a difficulty in getting oatmeal may try maize porridge or flaked rice as porridge.”

The newspaper article then provided recipe for the maize porridge and flaked rice porridge as well as maize or rice cakes, an semolina, hominy, or maize fritters. It also gave the following recipe as a possibly more palatable oatmeal dish for “those who do not like oatmeal porridge.” It could also , I guess, also be adapted to recycle leftover porridge.

Oatmeal Fritters.
Make a very stiff porridge, adding to it ½ teaspoonful finely cut chopped onion and parsley. Spread it on a plate to cool. Then cut into pieces, dip in frying batter, and fry. To add to the food value a beaten egg may be stirred in when the mixture is almost cooked.

Quotation for the Day.

Either oatmeal or hominy should always be served at breakfast.
Maria Parloa, Miss Parloa’s New Cookbook.

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