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28 October 2014
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You are in Jersey > My Island > History > Occupation Food
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OCCUPATION FOOD
Parsnips
Parsnips were dried and roasted to make coffee

During the German occupation of Jersey (1940 - 1945) there were massive food shortages.

Islanders quickly invented 'ersatz' food - everyday items that were made from very unusual ingredients!

As well as the 40,000 islanders that needed feeding, the amount of German troops in the island quickly soared to 11,500, meaning that rationing was unavoidable.

An Essential Commodities Committee was formed to organise the importation from France of essential foods, but by 1942 the weekly ration of butter was two ounces, and at times the weekly ration of meat fell to just four ounces per person.

Because of the food shortages, islanders developed 'Ersatz' foods: sea water was evaporated to produce salt; tea could be made from all sorts of things - carrots, parsley, nettles, pea pods, bramble leaves; and coffee was made from acorns or dried, roasted parsnips and sugarbeet.

Islanders were also very resourceful when it came to other household necessities: toothpaste was made from cuttlefish and ivy!

Do you have a book with an occupation memory, or do you remember one? Tell us and we will publish it on the site for all to see. Send you recipe to jersey@bbc.co.uk.

 

You are in Jersey > My Island > History > Occupation Life

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