TV Cream

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

Ideal Milk

The finishing touch to a million Sunday afternoon desserts, Ideal evaporated milk from Nestlé’s (pronounced ‘Nessles’, never ‘Ness-lay’) brought a dash of creamy richness to any bowl of jelly, fruit cocktail or peach segments. Evaporated milk etiquette demanded that one made a hole in the top of the blue can with a tin opener, before decanting it into a jug. Rivalry came in the shape of Ideal’s nemesis Carnation, prompting a Coke vs Pepsi-style battle of red and blue tins. In the 1980s, evap, as the connoisseurs called it, faced new challenges, not least from Nestlé’s own Tip Top, a Bernard Cribbins-impersonating concoction (‘Whoops-ooh, aren’t you looking slim, mum?’) and, fatally, from Anchor Cream in a can (‘You just go squirt! Squirt! Squirt!’). Sunday teatimes with Jim Bowen and the Man from Del Monte were never the same after that.



  1. Moby The Villan

    September 18, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I remember some arty-type ads for Ideal Evap from the ’60s. Slo-mo waves of milk crashing through walls of pineapple chunks etc., with a really memorable score.

    Anyone else remember them?


  2. Joanne Gray

    May 7, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    We were a Carnation family – nothing else would do.

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top