World War I to the Present

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

World War I took an especially hard toll on Paris, which was closer to the battle lines than any other major city. Sugar and coal were the first goods to be rationed; fancy pastries were entirely banned. As a supply hub, the city became adept at prefabricating food in large quantities. Prospere Montagné (1865–1945) learned to organize approximately 16,000 bread rations per sitting that could be reheated on the battlefield. His techniques soon found their way into civilian production after the war, alongside a vogue for American jazz, cocktails, and refrigerators.