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What was an average meal for Americans during World War 2?

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November 07, 2009 2:20AM

That's not a easy question. If you were behind the lines it could have been any type of normal meal. Navy guys got hot chow nearly everyday. So did Air Force types. But Army and Marine infantry outfits on the frontlines would have c rations or k rations or a hot meal once in a while or nothing at all for days on end! Or sometimes you would eat what ever you could catch yourself or take from a dead German or Jap. Nice, huh?

If you know someone who spent time in the infantry give them a big hug and say thanks.

P.S. An authentic dish you could serve would be S.O.S. (sh*t on a shingle), as it was known, which was hamburger gravy served on toast or good old spam.

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I couldn't say exactly, however, food was rationed of course and "Victory Gardens" became popular. I would check out some old cookbooks for that time just to see and remember that coffee and sugar were both greatly limited.

Hope this helps. Mary

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That depends a great deal on where you lived in the US, how good a cook your mother was and how well she could cope with the shortages. I lived in So Cal so fruits and vegetables were plentiful. Meat was rationed and I believe lots of ground meat was used. Sugar, coffee, butter (rationed or just non-existent?) were among the rationed items. So Cal had Army, Navy, Marines, Air Corps basis with PXs so often servicemen would buy things at PXs for their families. I know we had to use a white, Crisco-like substance mixed with a flavored yellow sort of pill to use as butter. My mother hated it!

I believe there were recipes for eggless cakes, sugarless desserts,and lots of recipes for meatloaf. Think people ate lots of macaroni and cheese, tuna and noodles, mixed casserole dishes containing a little ground beef.

My husband lived in Kentucky in the horse country where there were lots of farms. He did not recall many shortages as many people raised their own cattle and hogs, had their own cows, grew much of their own food.

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K rations were eaten in the battlefields Hot chow in bases and as stated, the navy. The K ration was designed to provide 3,000 calories. These were NEVER intended to be used for more than a few days however, soldiers were forced to eat K rations for months The K ration has three varieties:

The U.S. Army's K ration was a compact ration design for use by combat troops in the field. The ration was designed to provide 3,000 calories. Although never intended to be used for more than a few days, however many troops were forced to use K rations for extended periods of time. The contents of a K ration in its three varieties; all had a can opener , cigerettes and a small wooden spoon

Breakfast K Ration (2 choices)

ham & egg, or chopped pork & egg yolk (all canned) soluble coffee fruit bar compressed cereal bar biscuits water-purification tablets Gum sugar tablets toilet paper 4 cigarettes wooden spoon

Dinner K Ration (3 choices)

hard biscuits matches candy bar American cheese, cheese w/bacon bits, or Swiss cheese (all canned) gum beverage powders (lemon, orange, or grape) granulated sugar salt tablets 4 cigarettes wooden spoon

Supper K Ration (2 varieties)

Beef & Pork Loaf or Pork w/Carrot & Apple (all canned) hard biscuits bouillon powder chocolate or caramels gum soluble coffee sugar 4 cigarettes wooden spoon

Also available was the D-Ration, an emergency ration consisting of three 4-oz hard chocolate bars, made from a mix of cocoa powder, oat flour, sugar, and milk powder, fortified with B-vitamins. If all three bars were eaten, the ration provided 1800 calories per day.

in world war II pretty much anything MRE ranged from the most totally unrelated meals you could imagine. so really anything goes