Grab a brew and tuck in to this…
What we eat has changed a lot since the war. We tuck in to spicy and exotic delicacies from across the globe without hesitation. But many of us were raised on much simpler fare, because that’s all there was, if not all we could afford. Back then, fried spam and spuds was considered a feast. We ate everything on our plate and were grateful for it.
The wonderful thing is, food is so much more than fuel. It connects you to your past and to those around you. Just the smell of a baking cake can have you back in mum’s kitchen licking the spoon.
So wash your hands, sit up straight and enjoy these 10 foodie favourites we’ve rustled up for you.
Beef dripping and bread
Nothing beats the flavour of beef dripping smothered over bread, warmed on a toasting fork over the fire. The gamey-tasting spread and that rich brown jelly at the bottom of the basin were pure heaven.
Cockles and whelks
Bought at the seaside or from the cockle man doing his rounds, these chewy seafood favourites were splashed in vinegar, sprinkled with pepper and were a popular choice for Sunday tea.
The first banana
Last to come off ration in 1954, many kids had never tasted these strange looking fruits. Luckily when bananas returned to the shops, the Labour government decreed that every child should taste a banana. It was probably the only way to stop mums and dads scoffing them all.
A quarter of sweets
When sugar rationing finally ended, there was a stampede to every corner shop in Britain! Ignoring mums’ cries of “don’t ruin your dinner” kids pondered over the penny tray and waited excitedly as sherbet lemons and dolly mixtures were shaken from the jar to the scale’s bowl.
The aroma of a Lyons Corner House
Open the door to any Lyons Corner House and you’d be hit with the smell of chocolate, flowers and baking. It was home to the ‘Nippy’ waitresses, the best-tasting tea and the “salad bowl” lunch that let you grab a bowl and pile it as high as you could.
The whiff of tripe
Remember the smell of tripe cooking? Or even worse, the taste of it? Seeing that wet, alien-like rubbery blob on your plate always made the tummy churn but it was cheap and nan loved it.
Kippers for breakfast
A hearty breakfast treat was rusty coloured kippers with thickly buttered bread to help get the bones down. It would be teatime before the fishy smell finally cleared from the house… and your clothes!
Burgers at Wimpy
In the 1950s Wimpy bars landed on every high street. A very British take on the American diner, they were packed with eager teenagers eating a Polynesian, shanty or bender burger with knives and forks. How civilised.
The arrival of the exotic
The 1960s and 70s ushered in a host of exotic new flavours. Taste buds were introduced to the delights of chicken tikka masala and chop suey (usually from a Vesta packet) and many an evening was spent trying to spin spaghetti on forks.
Fondue and wine
In the 1970s, no dinner party was complete without a fondue set. Families and friends across the country sat with their teak-handled forks, digging bread out of bubbling cheese, while sipping on Mateus Rose.
And one more because we couldn’t resist… Birds Custard
Smothering, definitely not drizzling, this silky delight over sponge pudding or apple pie was a joy like no other. Bright yellow and not a vanilla pod in sight. Yum!