World War I and the Cookbook?

Food, Hunger and Conflict is the title of the second Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food. The Call for Paper was published earlier this week. A suggestion for one of the possible topics that could be explored is the publication of cookbooks in times of scarcity of food.

An example from the Netherlands is Meulenhoff’s Oorlogs-kookboek (1918). Although the Netherlands were spared the horrors of the battlefields during World War I, the Dutch did suffer shortages of food. When in 1917 and 1918 rationing of food was introduced, cookery books, such as the ‘war-cookbook’ by Meulenhoff, were published to help the housewives to cope with the situation in the kitchen.