Sunday, November 07, 2010

Nutch glass, verdict, a question answered.

A while back, there was a conversation hereabouts concerning, to begin with, drinking wine out of mustard glasses, and then about a product called Nutch, which also came in glasses, but  the existence of which seemed either to have been lost in the mists of time, or was in fact a figment of the (often quite febrile) imagination of the reader concerned, since he was the only one, not just here but apparently within the whole breadth and scope of the googlable world, to have any recollection of it.  Happily, an anonymous commenter chipped in a short time later and said that they too remembered Nutch, and that they had a Nutch glass in the cupboard for years, and had stumbled upon that comment thread as the sole mention of it anywhere.  Having just read back over it, I am astonished that a curious idler actually read through the whole post and its comments as far as the bit about Nutch.  It's for unmissable moments like that I allow anonymous comments here, and I would like to shake that person by the hand, only I can't, even virtually, because they were anonymous.

Anyway, though Nutch may have gone the way of all bygone spreadable products (such as Fry's Chocolate Spread, which came in a waxed paper tub and which is sometimes reminisced fondly about here, or a gloopy kind of honey substitute called, I think, Sunny Spread), we are not averse to its present day and better-known equivalent Nutella, nor to collecting and using the glasses it comes in.  Nutch glasses, it was said, were so irredeemably ugly and horrible that not even water was any good in them, but the other day, I inadvertently placed a Nutella glass containing sparkling mineral water (something from the supermarket in a crackly plastic bottle, none of your fancy Badoit or St Pellegrino), in front of a lit violet-coloured candle, and thought to myself that even something so humble can be a thing of prettiness in the right lighting, so I took a photo of it, as I do.


The sole, which was the real Dover thing, not any old lemon dab, was delicious.  The dopey fishmonger had skinned one side as requested, but on one of them the side he left on was the sharky black side, a faux pas than which he should have known better ( that's for people who write in with letters of complaint for about dangling prepositions, not that anyone does that here, you're all far too intelligent and polite).  Never mind, I had the other one he'd done properly.  The raspberry vinegar was lovely with it, in fact I liked it so much I splashed a bit more on, as it was very delicate.  A mixture of raspberry vinegar and lemon would have been better still, as would some real garden peas rather than the cucumber salad I made to go with it.  But it was a very fine meal indeed.


Much earlier in the year, the 'Questions' call-and-response that Plutarch and I had been following over at the 'Compasses' blog, ground to a halt.  It ran out of steam for a time, stuff happened, one way and another we both felt somewhat blocked and at an impasse with it, I think, but it was not abandoned, only resting.  Now, hip-hip-hooray, Joe has revived and reignited it with a real cracker of a poem in answer to the question I left him with at the end of the last one: 'Where would you be if not in this place?'

'...A conversation never had.
But, in a fine rain, instead,
Among manicured trees, I hear,
Repeated, the same hollow note.'

Magic, worlds within worlds.   I think we're up for it again. 


marja-leena said...

lovely photo and so many delicious tidbits here, Lucy, the last of course the best!

Rosie said...

mmm raspberry vinegar...and more questions...oooh guess what, your word verification is "mablog"

Zhoen said...

Jelly glasses this side of the world, and not even that anymore.

I do like very good dark beer in red-wine glasses.

Kelly said...

All of those tasty treasures that have faded into obscurity only to be replaced by sadly cheap impersonations of perfections, where is my time machine?

Glad to hear you and Plutarch are back at it, I have ventured over there on occasion and found the poetic banter to drag me from my fixation on the current days stress and enjoy the remains.

the polish chick said...

oh, i do love the dangling prepositions! the way they sway gently in the breeze brings joy to my black black heart.

a honey substitute? i shudder...then again, that day is coming, and soon.

Jackie said...

Beautiful picture and an insightful piece. Thanks.

Roderick Robinson said...

Think of your blog as a gold-mine. You wouldn't be surprised if someone penetrated a mine's furthest depths to come up with a nugget. A weak metaphor becoming moribund when one considers the nature of the nugget in this case. Definitely fool's gold.

Yes, I meant to ask about the Dover sole. One Christmas we had Dover soles; it seemed so refaned (apart from the fact that they were so gobblable). But we had to warn the fishmonger way ahead. When we picked them up and handed over a whole load of specie, an irreproachably middle-class lady (woman won't do) asked if there were any more and - fatally - in the same sentence asked the cost. The fishmonger was well known for his outspokenness and I was fascinated how close he came to saying if-you-need-to-ask-what-it-costs, etc, without being totally insulting. So, God bless your baronial estate.

Must dash to Compasses.

PS: Febrile, eh!

Unknown said...

When I was a nipper, before World War 2, we had in the house two "unbreakable" glasses which came free with bottles of grape juice (unfermented) of a brand I don't recall. The glasses were tall, straight tumblers, with a grape moulding at the bottom. The glasses accompanied my childhood and early adolescence until I left home. Years later another identical glass (clearly of the same provenance) came into my possession and remained there for several years, until it faded away. Unbreakable glasses never break. I can still feel the moulded grapes under my hand and see the glass, misted with age and the mysterious unbreakable ingredients, upon which it based it proud boast.

Anonymous said...

Nutch was a cheap version of nutella and existed alongside it at the supermarket a good 30 years ago. We kept the glasses and they lasted for years. However, they broke into tiny vicious shards if one were unfortunate enough to drop one on the floor.

Anonymous said...

How fantastic that this page appears to be the only place to support those that remember Nutch. I found myself searching for said product, after trying the recommended dose of 15g of Nutella on a piece of toast yesterday morning. This reminded me of my youth, when during the very early eighties my classmate Mark Wilson would insist on making lengthy and unsubstantiated claims concerning the superior nature of Nutch over Nutella. He was utterly misguided (in my opinion) as it was cheap(er), sickly(er), had a nasty consistency – and indeed arrived in an utterly horrible glass. Whist Nutella had a slightly Italian ring to its name…its competitor just rhymed with crutch.

Lucy said...

Dear Anonimice,

I too am delighted and honoured that my blog appears to be the meeting place of the Nutch Commemoration Society, welcome! And I've never even tasted the stuff. Since writing this, we have discovered Cadbury's chocolate spread, which seems to be oddly readily available in many French supermarkets, and which we find we prefer to Nutella.

Thanks again for the visits and the laughs.

Anonymous said...

Glad, as I thought Nutch was just part of a long ago dream!

Anonymous said...

Just Googled "Did Nutch become Nutella", and this thread came up.

I remember Nutch well, and the glasses were great, we had loads when I was a kid. Nice thick bottom to the glass

Unknown said...

I’m desperate to find a picture of an actual labelled jar of Nutch!! No where to be found 🤷‍♂️

Phillip said...

I just googled nutch, which I loved as a child, and which was occasionally purchased when we entered the hallowed halls of Waitrose in Ramsgate, as I was curious to find out if it was an earlier incarnation of Nutella. That search led me directly to this blog, as the sole source of information concerning nutch.

Lucy said...

Hello Arash and Philip, and hooray for Nutch nostalgia! Though this blog is no longer active, I still get comments by e-mail and will always publish any genuine ones received.