A lot of the recipes from the 1942 recipe book use Yeastrel which is no longer manufactured.

Yestrel advertisement

Yeastrel “The Vitamin B Savoury” first appeared sometime in the early 1930’s and was a yeast extract produced by a firm in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh Scotland. It was claimed to be a rich source of vitamin B and was used as a food supplement during the war being sold through health food stores.

Production continued until sometime in the mid 1960’s. The product was still being advertised in 1962/63.

The nearest equivalent we have today is Vegemite™ which is produced by Craft Foods in Australia although it widely available in the United Kingdom. Yeastrel may have been less salty then Vegemite™ so if you are using this as a substitute you may need to use less than the recipe amount.

I you remember this product and can add to this information, please get in touch.


Lettuce Sandwiches

Nothing was wasted during the war, items that we would normally discard today were used as this recipe from 1942 demonstrates. Do have another sandwich, vicar.

*Yeasrel was yeast extract. The nearest equivalents we have today would be Marmite or Vegemite.

Lettuce leaves
Brown bread and butter

Wash lettuce thoroughly, dry, and chop up fairly small. If the lettuce is chopped up, it is possible to get a great deal more into the sandwich. It is also possible to use for sand- wiches some of the outer leaves that are not quite so attractive in a salad. These leaves are particularly rich in salts, but do not use leaves that are actually tough or bitter..

Spread half the bread and butter with a little Yeastrel, pile as much lettuce as convenient into the bread, cover with another slice of bread and butter, press down, and cut into four.