Friday, September 23, 2016


During the  Second World War , the January 1943 issue of the American National Geographic Magazine ,urging readers to buy U.S. war bonds and stamps ,  carried  the  above  full  page advertisement  for SPAM- said  to  be  perfect   for  luncheons , supper  or  STAG  PARTIES ! It must be said  that stag parties where  SPAM  is served up seems pretty tame by Australian standards .  Napoleon Bonaparte  famously said an army marches on  its  stomach .  It  is a sure bet that the  Marines were not  marching  on  this  tinned  tucker  when they stormed ashore in various parts of  the Pacific .  Apart    from   recipes for  SPAM , it was pointed out that  the  metal key  to open a  tin of SPAM   should be saved  , as  there would  be  no more keys  for  a" duration ",  presumably  of  the  war ,   or  use  a  can  opener . Were  the  keys  made  into  bullets?
In an article in the magazine  about American servicemen  in Australia there is an interesting insight  into the food  on offer , both in the community  and   at  American bomber  bases.  In a  town near  a base , American   reporter-photographer  Howell  Walker  wrote  that   streets  seethed with  soldiers, sailors  and airmen  of  both Australian and American forces . Hotels and restaurants  had  to turn  hungry servicemen  away  at  mealtime .
He and some airmen had  tried vainly  to get  a square meal  and had to be satisfied with  a round  of  milkshakes  and  sandwiches  ( SPAM ?), the bill 16 shillings  for a few  sips  and  nibbles.
At another base,  they had a choice of cold salmon and salad or braised chops with  vegetables , tea , bread and  butter  and  oranges.