Until the outbreak of war, the German Empire imported a third of its food. As a result of the British trade embargo against Germany and the resulting loss of imports, food supply became a serious issue during the course of the conflict. This cookbook, called The Art of Cooking in the War without Meat, Fish, or Fat, was a response to the crisis. It even tried to make a virtue out of necessity. The author, calling himself a gourmet, finds it hard to understand the sorrows of his fellows about meatless or fatless days: ‘I don’t see to whom this can cause a headache. I will therefore try to introduce really palatable recipes...’ He includes dishes of the enemies such as the Italian minestrone, the ‘queen of soups’. He comments: ‘Even if one dislikes the Italians nowadays and rightly so, a man of taste has to hold them in highest regard for their art of cooking’.
As food supplies dried up, there was less food for the cattle, too, so animals for slaughter grew thin. At the same time meat prices rocketed. Meat and sausages for sale became virtually unheard of. From the winter of 1914, fat started to run short. Eventually the allocation of fat was reduced to a tenth of the pre-war consumption, and only small amounts of butter were given out in rations. Seafood was rare as the fishing boats couldn’t go fishing. During World War One nearly 750,000 people died in Germany because of under nourishment.
The art of meat-free, fat-free, fish-free wartime cooking
New recipes from all countries from a connoisseur and hygienist
- Article by:
- David Stevenson
From the borrowing of money to the employment of women in industry, Professor David Stevenson examines the strategies used at home to maintain arms for troops, and basic supplies for civilians.