Italy WW2




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Razione Giornaliera

Like most modern armies, Italy had several levels of rations. Uppermost was the mess hall food, and while the troops probably griped about it, after a few days in the trenches, the old mess hall probably looked pretty appealing.

The next level was the Field Kitchen, which utilized bulk foods similar to the mess halls, and fed large numbers of troops hot meals in the field, behind the lines.

When field kitchens were not available, troops were issued the Razione Giornaliera or RG (Daily Ration). Similar in design to the British Compo Rations, the RG was issued in boxes with sufficient food for 10 meals. While not designed for specific meals, the 10-man boxes could contain food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as appropriate. As with the bulk rations in other armies, the utility of the 10 man rations depended upon the skills of the soldato chosen to cook. As a result, individuals with good cooking skills were often bribed to be the permanent cook, with offers of additional tobacco rations or relief from other military duties.


Maccheroni Racione

This is a 300 gram ration of elbow macaroni, intended as food for two soldati. This would have come from a RG box, and would normally be prepared for a group of soldati.

For one soldato, dump a couple handfuls of macaroni into boiling water that has been salted, and simmer until suitably softened. Drain, and mix with meat, cheese, or both along with some spices. Plop down on a handy rock or stump, and enjoy along with a glass of hearty vino and join your comragni in song.

PRICE:  $4.95



Spaghetti and Cheese

Absent the services if a cuoco to prepare a meal from scratch for you, you may want to pop the top of a can of RG spaghetti with cheese and tomato sauce.

Simply pop the top (I hope you remembered a can opener), dump the pre-cooked meal into a pan from your mess kit and heat over a small fire.

In a pinch you can eat this stuff cold. For me, that would have to be a pretty big pinch, but combat creates many compromises.


PRICE $5.95


Spaghetti and Meatballs

Okay! Here we have a combination of pasta and meat, lavishly finished with a tomato sauce. Even though this is another RG ration, it's the kind of thing a soldato can prepare and devour with little extra effort, while getting a solid, satisfying meal.

It would be worth your while to liberate some freshly baked bread from a local casetta or mercado, to give this meal a civilized flourish. Better not let the Sergente see, or you'll be on guard duty with no food the eat, while he enjoys your repast!

PRICE $5.95


Biscotti Dolci

These sweet biscuits are simply amazing! I think they should be regarded as an emergency food, which perhaps is why they are part of the Razione Personale (RP) or personal rations, that were issued to soldati immediately before action.

One of these biscuits, along with a hot cup of coffee, is a satisfying pick-me-up for mid-morning or early afternoon. And two of them will get you handily through the day if there's nothing else to eat.

These are large wafer crackers with a creamy flavored filling (usually vanilla or chocolate) and you should definitely have a few of them in your kit.

PLEASE NOTE: While two biscotti are shown, to illustrate the label, you are purchasing one at the price shown.



PRICE $4.95



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