Carruth, Hayden and Harley Moore. “Gyre and Gimble…” Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, NC), Apr. 11, 1942.

Within the Wartime and Postwar Food period, from 1940-1959, lies a primary source of a newspaper article containing a poem called “Recipe Messipy” [1]. It includes two different recipes and cultural contexts as two separate parts within the poem, one for a berry sauce and one for fried chicken, seemingly related through the prevalence of fried fish at the time [1].

In general, food has always been used to comfort those struggling with hardship as well as become a point of importance, particularly with war. It becomes apparent throughout the poem how great this tie is between war and food, which can be seen in the lines “So if you’ve oft decried / The war and price’s rising tide / If deep within you have a side / Which only can be satisfied / By mountain trout in butter fried” [1]. There are no other sources explaining some of the discrepancies of the poem, such as why the larger part of the poem is called “Fried Chicken” but talks mostly of fried fish, but there are other sources talking about the surfacing popularity of fried chicken at the time [1]. The article discusses how people weren’t even really sure how to eat the fried chicken yet, but everyone was entranced by it. Fried chicken became the new, trendier comfort food [2]. It is likely that fried food became a more common staple in general, both fish and chicken, as it is more filling and made easily with relatively accessible food such as bread crumbs and eggs. This feasibility can be seen in the poem in the line “There’s cause for joy throughout the nation / For no one needs to fear the ration” [1].

It makes sense that this source was published in the Daily Tar Heel, in Chapel Hill, as it relates back to Chapel Hill specifically. Both now and in the past fried chicken (and fried food in general, including fish) is a staple comfort food, popularized by local restaurants such as Timeout and Mama Dip’s, in which many of these restaurants have been around for decades and been highly successful. These articles show a transition for a more comfortable and reasonable food source during times of war, stretching even to Chapel Hill.


  1. Hayden Carruth and Harley Moore, “Gyre and Gimble…,” Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, NC), Apr. 11, 1942,
  2. Louis Kraar, “A Crusade for Fried Chicken in the Hand,” Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, NC), Oct. 6, 1954,