Fantasies about unobtainable meals became a sport amongst the crew of the Endurance as supplies dwindled. Sir Ernest Shackleton records in 'South: the Endurance Expedition':
“A census was taken, each man being asked to state just what he would like to eat at that moment if he were allowed to have anything that he wanted. All, with but one exception, desired a suet pudding of some sort the "duff" beloved of sailors. Macklin asked for many returns of scrambled eggs on hot buttered toast. Several voted for "a prodigious Devonshire dumpling," while Wild wished for "any old dumpling so long as it was a large one." The craving for carbohydrates, such as flour and sugar, and for fats was very real. Marston had with him a small penny cookery book. From this he would read out one recipe each night, so as to make them last. This would be discussed very seriously, and alterations and improvements suggested, and then they would turn into their bags to dream of wonderful meals that they could never reach. The following conversation was recorded in one diary:
"WILD: Do you like doughnuts?'
"WILD: Very easily made, too. I like them cold with a little jam.'
"McILROY: Not bad; but how about a huge omelette?'
"WILD: Fine!' (with a deep sigh).”
Food products local to Birmingham were included in the original supplies taken on board the Endurance, including Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and Cadbury’s cocoa.
Later Bovril, which the men on Elephant Island had depended on to flavour penguin meat, was also manufactured in Burton-on-Trent from 1924 onwards. As the advertisements below point out the product was favoured on these Antarctic expeditions due to its lightweight and nutritious properties.
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