Innovation came in many forms on the outbreak of war. One of the areas where people really excelled in the face of adversity was the kitchen, where people set about creating strange and wonderful concoctions with the limited supply of goods available. We set about finding some of the strangest and most novel recipes in our historic newspaper archive.

Start exploring the 1939 Register

To start, a note about the following recipes. All of these were created when rationing was in full force, meaning that they feature a whole lot of potato.

Potato doughnuts:

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Chocolate potato cake:

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Potato in disguise:

There was always a plethora of new ideas on ways to save left overs, and children across the country were disappointed to discover that their optimistically titled "Fairy Toast" were rusks.

Despite concerning headlines, over in Essex people were keen to try the new delicacy:

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While others were road testing the eggless, milkless, butterless cake; treats such as these were often accompanied by the phrase: "Delicious uniced".

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An abundance of recipes were created to entice people to try the less popular cuts at the butcher:

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And what list would be complete without an appearance form the nation's favourite Specially Pressed American Meat? This guy loved it so much that he put it in a sandwich and named it after himself:

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Discover more about rationing in the following video and on our dedicated 1939 register page.