Leftovers – Common Foods of 1930s

With the Great Depression during the 1930s, you did have ancestors directly affected by lack of paying jobs, not enough money which meant not enough food for the table.

But your ancestors of the 1930s did come up with ideas to help the food situation.

Many grocery stores trying to stay open, slashed their prices. Many signs said “Prices Down to the Bottom” to attract customers. Also, farmers and growers cut their prices to the grocer.

One food item that became very popular, because they grew well and were plentiful were grapefruit.

A prepared meal to serve many was casseroles. Here the cook could place all types of food items they could buy and create ad good meal. They were known as ‘kitchen sink casseroles’ had everything in it. Casseroles were varied in what was in them and people were glad for the meal.

Another meal favorite that filled up the family members was chicken and dumplings. There may have only been a few pieces of chicken but plenty of the dumplings were a flour base food item. A few vegetables added the family was happy.

For a treat, people developed the ‘no-bake pies’ such as the ‘vinegar pie’. Yes, made with butter, cider vinegar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, water and 3 eggs all mixed and placed in a pie shell.

Another sweet treat was to take a whole apple, core it, sweeten it with sugar or honey and then bake it for ‘baked apple’.

Bananas were coming on the markets more, cheap to grow, so here was another favorite fruit.

New was having fried egg sandwiches when a family could get eggs. Another type of sandwich that became popular were hamburgers. A bun with a think piece of ground beef. Having the meat ground did make it possible to feed more.

A vegetable that was plentiful and became popular was broccoli. Doesn’t mean everyone loved this vegetable but more were willing to eat the broccoli for food. It was a vegetable easy to grow in the family yard.

The 1930s also saw many new products first introduced. They included: Kool-Aid powder drink, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Bisquick, Spam (precooked canned pork), Twinkies, Ritz Crackers, Lay’s Potato Chips, cereals of Cheerios and Chex and Three Musketeers Bar.

Maybe the most favorite item coming from the 1930s was the new Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies developed in 1938.

Photos: Bologna Casserole; Vinegar Pie; Fried Egg Sandwich, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and Lay’s Potato Chips.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

What Our Ancestors Had

New Deal of the 1930s

Bottled and Canned Foods

< Return To Blog Now I'm hungry! Not a depression kid, but I've eaten a lot of spam, macky cheese, and fried egg sandwiches!
Sara N Martin 5/01/21

Some traditions continue decades later. What is neat is to learn how and when they came about and that was a necessity for our ancestors of the 1930s.
alice 5/01/21

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