The Italian American Wartime Kitchen

Jan 24, 2020 321

BY: Tony Traficante

Times were tough during the early 1940s; there was a war going on. Food and jobs were in short supply, and as a group, Italians were classified as enemies of the state by our President. Of course, no jobs meant no money, and food was rationed. Basic necessities, such as grocery items, shoes, metal, paper and rubber, were scarce.

Families and individuals received ration books, and they had to exercise a bit of belt-tightening. Ration books limited the purchase of defined amounts of sugar, flour, meat, butter, cooking oil and processed food goods. Other essentials such as gasoline, tires and fuel products were also limited.

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