TV Cream

Bric-a-Brac: G is for...

Glacé Cherries

Help yourself to a coconut castleIt’s 1991, midnight, and you’re scrambling around in a half-lit kitchen, trying to pad quietly around as not to wake your half-listening parents, tripping over the cat as you go and you’re raiding your Mum’s cupboards for food she won’t notice missing from the cupboard and subsequently won’t tut loudly over the omission over the next day (like one half of a loaf of bread and cheese).

As you go, you’re only slightly drunkenly pondering why there are glacé cherries in the cupboard. Have they been there since 1980? (Surely that’s the last time your Mum seriously considered making a conceptual cocktail avec sugar-coated cherry garnish? You certainly haven’t noticed her baking Bakewell tarts anytime ever…) And you certainly haven’t seen them being slipped into the Kwik Save trolley lately. Come to think of it, as you accidentally tip over the tooth pics and cocktail umbrellas to grab one en route to your mouth, you realise your parents have never sipped a cocktail in their lives.



  1. Kitten in a Brandy Glass

    October 5, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Nothing says baking in the 1970s (the Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, anyone?) like glacé cherries and angelica (a.k.a That Green Sugary Stuff). But while the cherries still get the occasional outing on Christmas cakes and the like, when was the last time you knowingly consumed angelica?

    I’ve got a strange urge to make coconut haystacks now.

  2. Adrian

    October 5, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Glace cherries seem to have the same half life as Uranium, hence they never go off and no one ever needs to buy replacements, which is probably why you don’t see them in shops anymore..

  3. Paul Gatenby

    October 5, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Ours were red, green and yellow and kept in the corner of a cupboard along with other ‘baking’ detritus along with silver balls, hundreds and thousands (the chocolate ones, which DO go off) and various small bottles of food colouring that had the caps welded shut with age. The container they were kept in was the orange plastic tub from some Walls vanilla and pineapple ice cream (anyone?) and were sadly thrown away a couple of years ago when the sell-by date was found to be 1992. They’re probably still intact, somewhere under a housing estate, ready to be discovered by future generations.

  4. Arthur Nibble

    October 19, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    The days of packets of dessicated coconut and sultanas, brought to you by Whitworths Foods. I remember the not-at-all-stereotyping TV jingle – “Whitworth’s are a girl’s best friend”!

  5. Paul

    October 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    You’d eat ’em from the carton – lovely – then spend the next month trying to un-sticky your fingers! I think my mum’s still got some in her kitchen, bought when ray-seam trousers and crombies were still the rage.

  6. Richard Davies

    August 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    My Mum likes decorating cakes & had built up a large amout of ingredients that have been used once & stored away until found in a clearout & declared unfit for use.

    We had some E-number heavy food colouring until the late 1990s which hadn’t been used after 1985.

  7. Jill Sandwich

    July 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I bake, and have some of these unearthly red orbs in the cupboard right now! Re: Whitworths, they always come out from under a paving slab around Christmas ready for the bake-o-rama: mince pies, jam tarts, lemon curd tarts, frangipane buns, not to mention the Christmas cake no one eats.

  8. Matty

    May 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Sadly missing from the tops of empire biscuits these days, which now prefer a stupid jelly sweetie thing that’s the wrong shape and everything.

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