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  • This discussion area is for any info related to food in Malta during WWII
    Any stories you might have heard, info about the victory kitchen maybe you had a relative who worked there, or may e you have a copy of the ration book used to get food, maybe you have some pictures or links which you can share.

    If you know of anyone who worked in a victory kitchen let us know and we'll try to get an interview.

    Posted on 20:28 on 30 May
  • Ok, I got a tidbit from my mom, it was her zija marie that was in the Victory Kitchen, not her mom,,,she was placed elsewhere..anyhow, she said the main menu consisted of minestra, ghagin, fazola and sardines….as a matter of fact, a tune was sung with this…."minestra u ghagin, fazola u sardin",,,,,she could not remember the rest…..God Bless the ones that had humour in those sad times. My mom was a young girl and remembers taking tea to her auntie every day when she was workinmg in the kitchens.
    I hope this helps with your research.
    Sunta

    Posted on 20:44 on 30 May
  • HI Sunta! thanks for the feedback…… would you be interested in interviewing your mum and asking her all about what she remembers of the war, particularly the food? Maybe her family have some pictures tehy would like to share?

    Posted on 6:34 on 31 May
  • She does have a lot of "war stories" that is for sure, but does not have any pics during that time. I will ask her more when I see her in a couple of days and see if she can remember more of the VK. I am sure she would be happy to answer any questions for you.

    Posted on 12:43 on 31 May
  • Minestra u ghagin, fazola u sardine, tal-Victory Kitchen

    Posted on 6:46 on 02 June
  • they used to go to bormla, there were ships so they go and get gaxin for there families. gaxin is the meaning of left overs. the left overs of the sailors. just imagine

    Posted on 12:24 on 02 June
  • I just was visiting a cousin and his wife last night and I asked the both of them if they had any recollection of anything pertaining to the Victory Kitchen. My cousin remembers, as a very young child of 6 years of age, watching when the truck delivered the vegatables, totally covered with a tarp. The truck was guarded with a police vehicle in the front and in the back to assure delivery to the Kitchen. He also shared stories on how his Mom, and I am sure so many others, had to use the wheat that was sunk on the ship and then recovered and used by the Maltese…how they had to hang it on the line to dry it, and then grind it and use it however they needed…and each time he said …and it used to stink….I just cannot imagine living as they did, and survivng to tell these tales of life as it was during the war.

    Posted on 12:56 on 02 June
  • @ Mark, my Mom sang me the tune when I called to ask her about the info…lol

    Posted on 12:57 on 02 June
  • Here are the English words for the Victory Kitchen song:

    Baked pasta in trays and people in array
    at the Victory Kitchen
    Minestra and sardines, pasta and beans
    at the Victory Kitchen
    What a treat on New Years Day! They made us eat sardines
    at the Victory Kitchen
    Their legs are so fat, they eat so much grub
    the girls at the Victory Kitchen
    Lipstick laden maidens with polish on their nails
    at the Victory Kitchen
    Their hair set all wavy to flirt with the boys in the navy
    the girls at the Victory Kitchen
    The kitchen staff were not slow to retaliate
    by saying we served you goat's meat that you had to eat
    from the Victory Kitchen.

    Posted on 18:27 on 02 June
  • Does anybody have information about the dietary customs in Malta prior to WW2? I've looked at several sources that point to there being no potatoes in Malta prior to the war……but thousands of tons of seed potatoes were shipped out to Malta on various vessels on other missions. One source also states that there was no butter in Malta until the tinned butter was shipped out……and it would be great if somebody could confirm that the staple carbohydrate in Malta prior to the war was bread with perhaps olive oil. So far my research also points to corned beef and tinned fish being unknown in Malta until the shipments during the siege, so it would be great if somebody could let me know if this is true!!

    Posted on 22:09 on 02 June
  • Yes Linda preserves were introduced in Malta during the WWII

    Posted on 5:17 on 03 June
  • Mark…what about potatoes??

    Posted on 21:25 on 03 June
  • Yes potatoes was one of the main ingredient. Most of the Maltese people were farms and they used to grow their crops

    Posted on 8:46 on 04 June
  • Farmers not farm

    Posted on 8:47 on 04 June
  • From what I've read this week Malta didn't grow potatoes prior to WW2…when seed potatoes were sent to Malta on the convoys to grow on the island to feed the population. I was hoping if you might know if this is correct…or perhaps now somebody old enough to remember?? Thanks for your interest Mark.

    Posted on 20:05 on 04 June
  • Truly they used to eat the seed potatoes but I remember my grandparents always telling me that they never suffered hunger cause they had their own fields and used to have their own crops. Also they were lucky because their fields were turned into a storage where soldiers used to store weapons, ammunitions, etc so others could not steal their harvest. However others were robbed because of food scarcity

    Posted on 8:07 on 05 June
  • Your grandparents were lucky! But did they actually grow potatoes or only other kinds of vegetables?? I've found a couple of sources that state potatoes were introduced to Malta during the war…and I'm trying to find out if this was the case and if the staple carbohydrates in Malta before the war were bread and pasta?? Thanks again for your interest and information Mark!

    Posted on 19:45 on 05 June
  • They used to grow all kind of veggies. And for potatoes it wasn't introduced during war time in Malta.

    Posted on 20:42 on 05 June
  • So were potatoes being grown in Malta before the war then?

    Posted on 20:43 on 05 June
  • Yeap they did

    Posted on 20:45 on 05 June
  • Thought so! I've been researching this all week and didn't believe the sources I found that said potatoes were not grown until the English introduced them during the war! Thanks for that information Mark….it confirms what I thought! Also, I'm trying to find out ..without any success to date…whether powdered eggs and SPAM were brought into Malta on the convoys …I can find no evidence that they were. In terms of protein I can only find references to corned beef and canned fish, i.e. herrings and sardines plus mutton (not sure how they got that there without refrigeration either!)

    Posted on 20:49 on 05 June
  • Also discovered that in Malta they were mixing sawdust with the flour for the bread…and also that the kids were diving down to the wrecks to salvage stuff…like wheat…that they would then dry out and grind up into flour and even the goats wouldn't eat the bread that resulted!

    Posted on 20:57 on 05 June
  • I check on powdered eggs and spam

    Posted on 21:12 on 05 June
  • Thanks Mark…you're a star!

    Posted on 22:15 on 05 June
  • hey..asked my grandfather about it. He mentioned the ration book provided each family with bread, sugar, powdered milk and flour. The rations were given out in each village. Then when things got harsher the victory kitchens started to provide everyone with food, typically bread, soup and cheese. Sometimes there was goats meat too. He also mentioned the farmers having it good since they had their own crops! Black market prices went really high when food was scarce. There was a lot of sickness about due to malnutrition as well as scabies and TB.

    There was also apparently a lack of clothes but when enemy pilots parachuted into Malta after being shot down they used the cloth to make new clothes!

    Posted on 11:06 on 06 June
  • Right chris they had the ration book

    Posted on 11:16 on 06 June
  • Thanks Chris…wonder if you could ask your grandfather if he has any memories of powdered egg or Spam?? I can't find any references that it was sent to Malta on the convoys. Yes, the ladies made dresses from the parachute silk…and in the winter they made coats from army blankets. There was a very high level of malnutrition in Malta in the civilian population and in the air force personnel stationed on the island..and much ill health as a result…as you say TB, but also I found there was an outbreak of infant paralysis (polio) as well. Ulcers were common and scabies was absolutely rife due to the close living proximity in the shelters and no treatment was available when the stocks of benzyl benzoate ran out. Birthing rooms were built in the shelters and many babies were born in that situation…but amazingly I found that not ONE case of postpartum sepsis occured (or at least was recorded). Many of the sewers were damaged by bombs and raw sewage was all over the place and many households had to use buckets…disposal of the contents being a huge problem. Penicillin was not available then or properly tested…but being tested on the servicemen with infected war wounds (wonder if they even knew or gave their consent to that!).

    Trying to find out about the blackmarket in Malta…but very little information has come to light yet. It would be great if your grandfather had any memories to share about that.

    Posted on 20:51 on 06 June
  • Hi, by any chance does anyone know the recipe for the potato bread that was done in war time? I know they used about 20-30% of potato to flour but can’t find any more information. Any other recipes of the era would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Posted on 13:58 on 05 May
  • Hi, by any chance does anyone know the recipe for the potato bread that was done in war time? I know they used about 20-30% of potato to flour but can’t find any more information. Any other recipes of the era would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Posted on 19:27 on 05 May
  • Hi, by any chance does anyone know the recipe for the potato bread that was done in war time? I know they used about 20-30% of potato to flour but can’t find any more information. Any other recipes of the era would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Posted on 19:27 on 05 May