Miscellaneous information about spinach in newspapers in 1929

This is post #2 of a set of 3 about spinach in 1929 – looking at the 639 references to spinach in the newspapers.

It is referred to as “the most health-giving vegetable” and “the tonic vegetable”. “It has been called the broom of the stomach.” (Northern Whig, 6th March, repeated elsewhere.) “Full of iron, makes rich new blood, and puts colour into pale faces.” (Aberdeen Journal, 22nd March.) “Carrots and spinach are rich in iron, and these two vegetables should be taken freely if the hair is lacking in vitality.” (Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, “Rejuvenating Faded Hair”, 25th May.) The Western Mail calls it “that valuable but somewhat neglected vegetable spinach … in its preserved form it is the richest food in Vitamin A” (27th June). It “has a wonderfully purifying effect on the whole system, and any girl suffering from a bad complexion can clear it if by magic by eating lot of spinach” (Daily Herald, 20th July.)

Much information about growing it. There are apparently two types, true spinach and perpetual spinach or spinach-beet. Also, “How rarely does one see the New Zealand spinach, a delicious summer vegetable.” (Surrey Mirror, 3rd May, and repeated elsewhere, in “Vegetables You May Not Know” – there are only three, the others being maize or sugar corn and the bush marrow.) There are also references to “the round-seeded spinach” (Cheltenham Chronicle, 29th June). The Daily Herald believes that this year’s spinach tastes too strong, perhaps because of the dry weather, and should be cooked with more water than usual (20th July).

In June, the Western Mail reported “Spinach also has been dear, costing as much as 9d. and 9d. a pound during the worst time a few weeks ago. Now it is down to its usual price.” (8th June.) Other papers report it as 6d a pound (Birmingham Daily Gazette, 13th June), 4d (Nottingham Evening Post, 14th June) and in one case 2s a pound (Biggleswade Chronicle, 14th June).

There are some references to spinach being donated to institutions. The list of donations in kind to Bristol General Hospital includes spinach and cabbages from Mrs. Ruding Davey. Miss Maylove gives tinfoil, and Lady Mary Miles, “two very large iced cakes for the Sisters”. (Western Daily Press, 25th May)

“Cabbage and spinach, which should be prolific and good at this time of the year, are prohibitive in price, and in many districts unobtainable” (The Scotsman, 23th September).

The Gloucestershire Echo remembers an old “popular test” for a sense of humour. “If you laughed at the story of the young man who put spinach on his head at dinner, and who apologised by saying “I thought it was salad,” you had a sense of humour.” (30th September )

The School of Art and Technology in Dover held its annual ball with the theme of Nursery Rhymes: food included “curds and whey, tarts, pies, gammon and spinach, and such like nursery victuals”. The prize for Most Original Costume went to the Misses Prescott, who went as Three Wise Men of Gotham. (Dover Express, 11th January.)

There is a humorous anecdote about an actor who asked his landlady in South Shields to prepare a special meal for his friends. He provided the vegetables, but “spinach, as it afterwards appeared, was not in the landlady’s “repertory”. She put it in vases to garnish the festive board!” (Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 16th February.) The Penrith Observer has a story about a maid who complained about “a place where she had had to do all sorts of fancy cooking. and when asked what she considered fancy cooking, she gave spinach as an example”. (16th July)

Spinach is listed as one of the most popular Canned Foods. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 2nd March.)

The Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette says that we owe spinach to Flemish immigrants in the 17thc. (10th August) The poem I quoted yesterday disagrees.

Spinach is included in a list of “Problems for Prof. Einstein”: “What became of balloon trousers? Why do people run up escalators? What is the idea of spinach?” (Sporting Times, 27th April)

The Hull Daily Mail reports that during May 79 packets of spinach brought into the port were found to be unfit. (11th July)

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s