Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lord Woolton and His Pie

Nearly everyone knows that widespread rationing occurred during WWII. For the British rationing continued into the 1950s as the country recovered and got back on its feet. Meat was one of the items strictly rationed, so diets centered heavily on vegetables.

Frederick Marquis, Lord Woolton, was a former social worker and grocery chain executive when he was asked to take the position of Minister of Food. Not a glamorous position, but one of extreme importance in the war-torn UK. Prior to the war, Britain imported over sixty-five percent of its food. Because of blockades and other issues, that percentage dropped to about thirty percent between 1939 and 1946. Therefore, something had to be done to prevent the population from starving.

Victory gardens popped up everywhere, which meant vegetables were abundant. In an effort to keep up morale and to help people know what to do with their harvest, numerous pamphlets were issued by the Ministry of Food. Nutritional value and recipes were included. One recipe for a vegetable pie was created by Francis Ladry, chef at the Savoy hotel, and named for Lord Woolton.

Full of carrots, potatoes, and parsnips, and covered with a crust made primarily from potatoes, the dish met with mixed reviews. Some reports indicate it was widely disliked. Other articles claim it was a huge success. Either way, any English citizen who lived during the war ate more than their share of Lord Woolton pie.

Was there a dish you ate growing up that you won’t touch as an adult?

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A freelance writer for over ten years, Linda Shenton Matchett writes historical fiction. Her novella Love's Harvest is available on Amazon. She is currently seeking a publisher for her series about WWII war correspondent Ruth Brown. Visit her at www.LindaShentonMatchett.com


  1. I count all of my childhood dishes as pure comfort food to this very day.

  2. I can't think of anything that I don't like. Probably be better off if I did! :-)

  3. I remember eating tuna casserole growing up and I haven't had it as an adult.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    1. I had the same experience, Melanie! :)

    2. I had the same experience, Melanie! :)

  4. Turnips. Wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole then, like them fairly well now.

  5. Oh, and I never had the pleasure of tuna casserole. ;-)