What are typical food and drinks from the 1940's in the Unites states?!


What are typical food and drinks from the 1940's in the Unites states?

please add you source from where you got the information

My sources are my mom and dad, who were born in 1931 and 1930, respectively, and who used to tell us as kids how things were different.

In general, the typical foods and drinks that a 1940's family would have would NOT include anything other than bread or baked goods that came pre-cooked or pre-prepared. Some exceptions to that in terms of canned foods, but meals were more generally prepared from scratch.

My mom's parents were immigrants from Sweden, and my grandmother was a cook to die for. She made things like kotbuller (Swedish meatballs), meatloaf, pork roast, pork chops, baked chicken, krup kakor (potato dumplings loaded with salt pork or bacon), braised beef roast, baked fish, ham, and so forth. Vegetables might be pickled or roasted beets, boiled carrots, green beans or peas or corn. They would drink coffee (Swedes are great coffee drinkers), lemonade, milk, apple cider, and when they could, they would drink Swedish drinks like Pomac (a carbonated apple soft drink). Also peculiarly Swedish specialties like rye crisp, gravlox, and (ugh!) lutefisk. Also fleskorg, a Swedish sausage that they cooked by boiling.

My dad grew up on a farm in rural Nebraska and they tended to eat what they grew. My impression is that they didn't have a lot of options-- my father's parents grew vegetables for the table in a home garden, ate what was in season, and grew their own beef and pork. My dad said that they had milk, but he hated drinking it-- I gather that his father, who milked the cows, was none too careful about hygeine and the milk was unappealing. They had cheese they bought and his mother baked bread in her own oven, since getting out to the store to buy bread was a pretty tough thing to do. (Baked goods didn't have the preservatives that they have now, so the bread bought from the store or bakery tended to go stale or get moldy if you kept it too long.

Of course, going out to dinner or buying prepared take-out food was not an option for my dad's family, although at Church functions and other events there would be food served sometimes, and I gather that there was some sort of cafe that my father's father would go to on days when he came into town for some reason. My dad told me that his dad would sometimes forget to bring cash, and the cafe manager would just carry the total to the next time my dad's father came in.

My mom and her family lived in a town, but they rarely went out to eat. There was a thriving Swedish community around the San Francisco bay area where they lived, and they would have get-togethers, usually in Santa Rosa at a friend's fruit ranch, and they'd prepare food for a banquet.

There was much less of what we would call ethnic food available at that time, although of course my mom's family was eating Swedish/Scandinavian ethnic food at home all the time. My mom also said that sometimes they would go into Chinatown in San Francisco and buy things like almond cookies, but not main-course type foods. But there wasn't really any other ethnic food available-- no Mexican, not much Italian, and so forth.

This was even more true for my dad. Rural Nebraska in the 30's-40's?!? Man, you'd be suspected of sedition if you wanted to eat anything other than good old heartland American cuisine! To this day, my dad is suspicious of what's in "foreign" foods like Chinese or Italian (he does not acknowledge that spaghetti is Italian).

Neither my father's nor my mother's families were very big on alcoholic drinks. My mom says that for Christmas they would have Vin glug (hot spiced wine). My mom tried to get me to drink some of this when I was 12 and had the flu. My god it was awful stuff!

I know that's kind of general in terms of describing what was on the table, but I hope it helps you.


Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Budweiser, Whistle, Milk, Water, Kool-Aid

Drinks- coffee, tea, switzel, chiccory,milk, beer

As far as foods, they have not changed that much. What has changed is the transportation of foods. In the 1940's people ate what was available in their area in that season. So the area and season determined what they ate. People also canned the fruits and vegetables that they were able to raise.


Huge section, goes into great detail and gives THEIR sources as well.

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