What the Okies' Ate in the 1930's

Food for the Okies was a resource that was hard to come by. Especially with the Dust Bowl and the force of migration, people did not have much and had to stretch whatever they had. Money was tight and as Okies made their trekk on Route 66 heading West to California, they did not have the luxury to spend money on food while making pit stops. Diners were filled with delicious foods yet their sacrfice for the greater good was more important. They would rather have saved for gas and car parts, in case their jalopy broke down. 

In John Steinbeck's, The Grapes of Wrath, the Joads family represented what it was like to eat like an Okie. This first hand representation gave us much insight on their diet and what they ate in order to survive and make it on the road. From side meat to pork chops and mush to pone, these food items were popular amongst the Okies. These dishes are Southern inspired with a Mid-West twist particularly Oklahoma influenced. 

The following pages include foods and descriptions consumed by the Joad's family. Feel free to try out these recipes yourself to get a 'TASTE' of what it was like.



Christina Fakalata