Fraserburgh, Scotland - Maconochie’s Ration Packs

Kinnaird Head Works, Fraserburgh - AB43 9DX

Maconochie's stew might not be well known now, but during the First World War it was a household name - and British troops marched for miles on it. Maconochie's "Meat and Vegetable Ration" was made in Fraserburgh and named after the manufacturers who were contracted to produce the tinned meal.

Brothers Archibald and James Maconochie were shrewd businessmen, world leaders in the canning of fish, who saw an opportunity and branched out to produce different types of meals and preserves (including the stew and the famous Pan Yan pickle). Mark Stephen met up with volunteers from the Fraserburgh Heritage Centre, who have researched the local connection.

The "stew" contained beef, potatoes, haricot beans, carrots and onions. While it was enjoyed by some, many soldiers detested it. Some versions contained turnips and the combination of beans with turnips had an unfortunate and smelly side-effect.

Photo by Alf van Beem @wikimedia

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