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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rationing of Meat and Cheese made Egg Salad Important

During WWII rationing of meat and cheese was an important part o life on the US Home Front. This system was often changing and complex.

The US government would produce meat and cheese for her civilians and military as well as for allies. World War I had seen its share of food shortages, hoarding, escalating prices and rushes on stores. In order to cut down on these behaviors during WWII the government would reduce deliveries to stores an restaurants, instituted price controls and urged people to voluntarily reduce usage.

March 29th 1943 The U.S. followed British and instituted a ration system on meats and cheeses. Rationed meats included beef, pork, veal, lamb and tinned meats and fish. Poultry, eggs, fresh milk and spam were not rationed. Rations on cheeses started on hard cheeses and later expanded to cream and cottage cheeses and to canned evaporated and condensed milk.

Rationed books contained blue stamps for processed foods and red stamps for meat and 4 ozs of cheese a week. Stamps were printed with a number for point value and a letter to with rationing period. Newspapers shared rationing calendars that helped make sure the stamps were current and how long. Stamps had to be tore off in front of the grocer and were good for one, two, five or eight points. There was no change given.

Each cut of meat was assigned a point per pound. This was not based on price or quality but on scarcity. The point values would change as supply and demand changed. Kidney, liver, brain and tongue had little use for the military so they were always low. Housewives learned to make do with less meat. They used chicken and rabbit that they raised in their back yards. Fishing also became a way to gather meat. "Meatless Tuesdays" sprung up and recipes for meatless recipes would show up in newspapers and magazines.

How would you like to deal with meat and cheese rationing? One way would be to make Egg Salad.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop. In a large bowl, combine the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, dill, paprika, onion and salt and pepper.

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