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Food during the Falklands War in 1982

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  • Food during the Falklands War in 1982

    This has been making it's way around WhatsApp...

    When Britain fought the Falklands War in 1982:

    Pasta was only eaten by Italians.

    Curry was a surname.

    Spice was used in a Christmas cake.

    Chilli was something from Mexico. Scotch bonnets were an item of clothing worn by old women in Dundee.

    Herbs, apart from parsley and thyme, were medicinal.

    Rice was a milk pudding, and never served with a main course.

    Oven chips were unheard of. Chips were deep fried.

    Fruit was seasonal. No strawberries in winter, but figs and dates were only available in December.

    The only vegetables were potatoes, carrots, onions, turnips, peas, cauliflowers, cabbage, and sprouts.

    Pineapples came in chunks in a tin. Hardly anybody had seen a real pineapple.

    Pomegranates, passion fruits, guavas, and mangoes were only known about by botanists or people who had visited countries where they grow.

    Coconuts were only encountered at a fairground.

    Grapes were very exotic and not generally sold at supermarkets or local greengrocers.

    Salads were only served at buffets and parties for adults. Children were not expected to eat them.

    There was only one salad dressing, and that was salad cream. Mayonnaise was American. Only the French used French dressing.

    Oil was for lubricating car engines. Beef dripping and lard were used for cooking.

    Olive oil was sold in small bottles from chemist shops and used to soften ear wax.

    Eating out took place at a pub or a Berni steakhouse.

    The only ready meals came from the local fish and chip shop.

    A takeaway was a mathematical exercise.

    Kebab wasn't even a word in the dictionary.

    Prawn cocktail as a starter and Black Forest cake as a dessert at a dinner party were seen as posh.

    People thought you were poor if you bought brown bread.

    Only poor or stingy people used margarine. The middle classes used butter.

    Bottled sauces were either tomato ketchup or HP.

    Frozen food was called ice cream.

    Pancakes were only eaten on pancake day / Shrove Tuesday.

    Boil in the bag white fish in sauce was popular and socially acceptable to eat.

    The tinned food section in supermarkets were twice as big as they are today but the chilled food section were less than half the size they are today.

    People who didn't eat bacon were considered weird.

    It was normal (and expected!) for kids to eat liver, and it would not have freaked out classmates at school.

    Vegetarians were weird. Soya? Err, don't you mean soil! Quorn? That's a village in Leicestershire.

    Anybody feeding a vegan diet to their kids would most likely have had a visit by the NSPCC.

    Eggs were not free range unless you owned a hen.

    Tea had one flavour – black tea. Most people made tea in a teapot using tea leaves. Tea bags were available but were seen as a bit naff, or only suitable for builders.

    Coffee was still seen as a posh drink for the middle classes. Common folk drank tea. Fancy coffees sold in coffee shops hadn't been invented. A cup of Maxwell House with drop of milk and a spoon of sugar was considered exotic.

    There were only two varieties of milk – full fat and sterilised. Semi-skimmed didn't exist. Plant milk hadn't been invented.

    Anybody who ordered meals was considered disabled. The only company that delivered meals to homes in most towns was the council run meals on wheels service.

    Small independent shops would deliver food to customers but supermarkets didn't do deliveries.

    People paid for their weekly shopping at a supermarket with cash or by writing out a cheque. Small independent shops only took cash. No contactless back then.

    Only the bigger supermarkets had bar code scanners. In other shops the prices had to be manually entered into cash registers.

    Water came out of a tap. Anybody who suggested bottling it and selling it would have ended up in a psychiatric hospital.

  • #2
    Some of those might have been true in 1972, but many had changed by 1982.
    The Trickster On The Roof

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
      Some of those might have been true in 1972, but many had changed by 1982.
      My mother says that there is plenty of truth in it - certainly for the geographical fringes of Britain and lower class white British areas (like South Yorkshire, Sunderland, Hull, possibly Merseyside) but middle class folk were eating pasta, cooking with herbs, and frying food in Mazola by 1980. They knew what curry was even if they didn't eat it themselves. Takeaways and exotic fruit were available in cities with immigrant communities. Frozen food, apart from ice cream, had become reasonably mainstream although the range of items was limited. The teachers at her school drank tea made with leaves at breaktime. Coffee at work was more popular with professionals and office workers and other non-manual jobs, whereas manual and blue collar workers stuck to tea.

      The 1983 general election was when the 80s really started, which included a transition towards more exotic food, takeaway food, eating out, and bottled water. A rise in interest in healthy eating began around the same time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Arran View Post

        The 1983 general election was when the 80s really started, which included a transition towards more exotic food, takeaway food, eating out, and bottled water. A rise in interest in healthy eating began around the same time.
        I suppose that the gap between the 1979 and 1983 General Elections were an era which was neither the 1970s or 1980s - or in some ways, an overlap of both. Thatcher's first term as Prime Minister brought so many changes to society - fashions changing so much, but also landmarks such as technology developing fast such as computers; the ITV network strike followed by new ITV companies on the air and breakfast television. Not to mention news such as Charles marrying Diana; Pope John Paul II visiting Britain; John Lennon's death and all that.

        One thing that one can pinpoint with regards to food is how it was advertised - food such as Pot Noodles and toasted sandwiches (what one could make in the kitchen thanks to Breville) were relatively new during this period. Even a lot of cities were experiencing their first McDonald's restaurant opening - this was the case in Nottingham in 1982. Lucozade was veering away from the medicinal drink of the 1960s and 1970s advertising to becoming a simulant for sports celebrities (Daley Thompson, take a bow). McCain introduced their oven chips in this era as well.

        I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
        There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
        I'm having so much fun
        My lucky number's one
        Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Arran View Post

          My mother says that there is plenty of truth in it - certainly for the geographical fringes of Britain and lower class white British areas (like South Yorkshire, Sunderland, Hull, possibly Merseyside) but middle class folk were eating pasta, cooking with herbs, and frying food in Mazola by 1980. They knew what curry was even if they didn't eat it themselves. Takeaways and exotic fruit were available in cities with immigrant communities. Frozen food, apart from ice cream, had become reasonably mainstream although the range of items was limited. The teachers at her school drank tea made with leaves at breaktime. Coffee at work was more popular with professionals and office workers and other non-manual jobs, whereas manual and blue collar workers stuck to tea.

          The 1983 general election was when the 80s really started, which included a transition towards more exotic food, takeaway food, eating out, and bottled water. A rise in interest in healthy eating began around the same time.
          Well, I think the change was quite appropriate. Anyway, rethinking approaches to nutrition for the better is cool. A healthy lifestyle is still in trend today, and this trend is good and useful. I ask you not to confuse weight loss with a healthy lifestyle, otherwise the desire not to overeat and reproaches of conscience for an extra piece eaten even comes to anorexia.

          Comment


          • #6
            I remember in late 1982 a lot of things seemed to change, with Ford replacing the Cortina with the Sierra, Noel Edmonds moving from Swap Shop (replaced by the Saturday Superstore) to The Late Late Breakfast Show, Channel 4 being launched, Abba, Japan & The Jam breaking up while Culture Club, Wham! & Tears For Fears started to have big hits.

            This was also the time I started school, which was a big change for me.
            The Trickster On The Roof

            Comment


            • #7
              It was the same with 1992 - things were inherited from the previous decade and changed around a quarter of the way into that decade. I assume that you started nursery school in 1982, Richard, as I started in the Infants in the following year.

              In 1983 when Children's ITV launched, it was only a year and a half after Charles marrying Diana but looking back it felt longer - two years were ancient history back then.
              I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
              There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
              I'm having so much fun
              My lucky number's one
              Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                I suppose that the gap between the 1979 and 1983 General Elections were an era which was neither the 1970s or 1980s - or in some ways, an overlap of both. Thatcher's first term as Prime Minister brought so many changes to society.
                Interesting point about the 1979 to 1983 era. The Conservative government got off to a slow start in 1979 and didn't implement any particularly radical reforms during it's first term. It just tinkered around the edges with tweedledee tweedledum policies, and Thatcher was quite unpopular as a PM both within her party and amongst the general public before the Falklands War. There was even pressure within her party for her to resign. Nobody used the term Thatcherism in 1982 anymore than they used the term Callaghanism. The Falklands victory made Thatcher a hero, resulting in a landslide victory in 1983 and that's when she showed her true (economic?) colours and the 1980s really started.

                Does anybody know if Channel 4 had any impact on the nation's taste in food with new cookery programmes? I think that TVS produced some cookery programme about spices and curries quite early on, but was it networked or just shown in the south east region?

                The appearance of iceberg lettuce in the late 1970s (little gem and cos were previously popular varieties) transformed salads a decade or so later, but ironically it may have been popularised by the fast food outlets rather than the healthy eating community.

                Food served in schools had barely changed since the 1950s and vegetarian meals generally weren't available.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have to admit that I am surprised that we are talking about what food was available in 1982 - back in 1942, let's say, I could understand, but 1982 wasn't too much like a world away to today as 1942 was to 1982?
                  I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                  There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                  I'm having so much fun
                  My lucky number's one
                  Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                    I have to admit that I am surprised that we are talking about what food was available in 1982 - back in 1942, let's say, I could understand, but 1982 wasn't too much like a world away to today as 1942 was to 1982?
                    There have been many changes with food even since the 1990s. For a start, there are thousands more eateries around now compared with 25 or so years ago. Eating out was an occasional activity for most families during the Falklands war but has become very much an everyday activity in recent years – hence the impact of coronavirus on the hospitality sector and people's lifestyles. I can remember some pizza shops that would deliver food – by teenagers on mopeds – and I think a local curry house did as well back in the late 1990s although delivery times were restricted. I think the Chinese dominated the takeaway market during the 1970s and early 80s before the McBurger places and Indian takeaways took off.

                    The variety of chilled foods in supermarkets has significantly increased as well. Supermarkets sold plain houmous back in the 1990s but now there are several flavoured varieties to choose from. Also those pots of olives with feta and sun dried tomatoes - you would probably have had to buy the three ingredients separately just 20 years ago. Every supermarket now has a diverse selection of ready prepared salads and dressings to go with them. Supermarkets now sell ethnic chilled food such as samosas, onion bhajis and spring rolls, which would have to be bought from specialist ethnic shops back in the 1990s. Even the cheese selection is more diverse than in the past.

                    During the Falklands war microwave ovens were rare in British kitchens as they were very expensive. This probably explains the popularity of boil in the bag food at the time – gradually superseded by microwaveable meals. Sponge puddings in tins were a store cupboard staple during the Cold War era, but most now come in plastic pots as they are easier for customers to microwave. Tinned food in general sold in higher quantities in the 1980s as there were many families that didn't have freezers, or only had a small freezer compartment in the top of the fridge that was just big enough for some ice cream and fish fingers! Tinned meat products were mainstream whereas now they appear nostalgic, or even downmarket.

                    There definitely were plenty of people who had a very traditional and conservative taste in food well into the 1980s. In the 1970s spag bol was commonly used as a derogatory term by British people for any foreign food, although it had somewhat fallen out of use by the early 1980s.

                    At what point in time was liver perceived to be revolting by the younger generation? I seriously doubt that any primary school has served liver this side of the Millennium but it definitely featured on the menus during the Falklands War.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't remember ever having liver at school, even my Mum never really tried to get me & my siblings to eat it.

                      In the 1990s there seemed to be quite a big change in the sort of food people cooked at home. Ingredients like balsamic vinegar & capers would have been tricky to find outside of specialist shops in 1990s, but by the end of the decade most supermarkets stocked them. Delia Smith & many other celebrity chefs seemed to help this happen, a far cry from Fanny Craddock's stodgy pretend-French fare.
                      The Trickster On The Roof

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
                        .

                        In the 1990s there seemed to be quite a big change in the sort of food people cooked at home. Ingredients like balsamic vinegar & capers would have been tricky to find outside of specialist shops in 1990s, but by the end of the decade most supermarkets stocked them. Delia Smith & many other celebrity chefs seemed to help this happen, a far cry from Fanny Craddock's stodgy pretend-French fare.
                        Yes, cookery programmes have changed in the past 40 years - can anyone imagine Jamie Oliver presenting Farmhouse Kitchen on a weekday afternoon?

                        I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                        There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                        I'm having so much fun
                        My lucky number's one
                        Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Back in the 1980s the nation had to endure Keith Floyd as a celebrity chef and get peptic ulcers from just watching him cooking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do anyone still do fondue sets, I wonder?
                            I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                            There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                            I'm having so much fun
                            My lucky number's one
                            Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
                              I don't remember ever having liver at school, even my Mum never really tried to get me & my siblings to eat it.
                              I used to know kids at primary school who ate liver at home but I don't think the school ever served it when I was there back in the 1990s.

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