Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Wartime curried rabbit
As part of our wartime diet experience we launched a counterattack on the army of rabbits that takes such a toll on my brassicas. I found a recipe in a 1940 cookbook for curried rabbit. The quantity of curry powder used was tiny (half a teaspoon) for the whole rabbit so this was more a hint of curry than something we, in the early 21st century, would regard as an actual curry. I also suspect that modern food is so packed full of added flavourings and enhancers that our taste buds are shot to bits. I could barely taste the curry in the rabbit. Nevertheless, it was fun to try.
Rabbit was not part of the meat ration so if you got one, it was in addition to your basic meat allowance. Having spoken to many people who lived through the period, though the price of rabbit was controlled by the government, in rural areas in particular, rabbit was often traded for other foods. Across Britain, many people kept rabbits in hutches in their back gardens. They often joined together to form rabbit clubs to share experience, information, feed and time to produce rabbits for the pot.