How Hoover Stew Emerged As A Winning Recipe During The Great Depression

They say that history repeats itself, and with rising food prices and the overall cost-of-living crisis, we may see some Great Depression-era recipes popularized once more. Browsing through the grocery aisles can be an extreme sport of determining which food item fits within your shrinking budget. If you're trying to curb your grocery spending, you could try making something people in the 1930s dubbed Hoover stew. 

During the Great Depression, many Americans blamed the sitting president, Herbert Hoover, for the widespread economic misfortune. As a result, everyday items became hallmarks of the era that were named after the president. Homeless encampments became Hoovervilles, empty pockets turned inside out were Hoover flags, and newspapers that the least fortunate used to cover themselves when cold became known as Hoover blankets.

One of the better inventions, however, was Hoover stew. A concoction of whatever boxed or canned food was stocked in the pantry, Hoover stew was a winning recipe compared to the ketchup sandwiches, roadkill, bean soup, and water-fried pancakes that were eaten in this austere time. While the recession economists have for months urged us to brace for isn't expected to be anywhere as bad as the Great Depression, it doesn't hurt to save money with this not-unpleasant throwback meal.

How to make Hoover stew

The main components of Hoover stew are macaroni, hot dogs, tomatoes, and corn. However, swapping out macaroni for noodles, corn for canned beans, or creamed chipped beef instead of hot dogs isn't a big deal, especially since finding every specific ingredient wasn't guaranteed at the time.

Start by boiling your noodles of choice until they're almost al dente. Drain the water out and add in the tomatoes, corn, beans, and chopped hot dogs. You can drain the canned ingredients, but the juices only add to the flavors and amount of stew there is to go around. Increase the heat until the soup starts to boil. Once it's bubbling, reduce it to medium heat and let the ingredients simmer together. After a few minutes, the hot dogs should be heated, and the tomatoes will have released the excess water. Enjoy your Hoover stew with bread or dandelion greens, another Depression-era dish.