WHEN it comes to food, I’m not posh. Caviar – never tried it; Champagne – never been a fan; Lobster – I’d rather peel open a tin of sardines. It’s fair to say, for a birthday meal, I’d rather ditch the fancy restaurant, and go for burger and chips washed down with a decent IPA instead. I’m cheap and easy when it comes to food – chuck me on a street corner, and I’ll find somewhere where I can eat for under a tenner.
There was a time, during the 80s, when I really wanted some posh grub. I call it grub, but, it was in fact dessert. Traditionally, during the 70s and 80s, the dessert selection in our household consisted of one of the following:
a) A slice of family brick ice cream
b) Jelly and ice cream
c) Fruit cocktail out the tin
d) Canned pears – just like the fruit cocktail, out the tin
e) Angel Delight
Of the five desserts above, b) and c) were the most common during the weekly dessert rota.
It was during the 80s when the advert appeared on television. They had finished their starters, the main course was exquisite, and now it was time for dessert: Wall’s Viennetta. Viennetta looked like an elegant, detailed, beautiful piece of ice cream crafting. The cracking of the interior chocolate during segmentation proving that there was excitement beyond the surface. Viennetta was served in dessert glass. The occasion was classy, the inner circle at the table were classy, and the dessert was classy.
I wished to be part of that classy inner circle around the table: ‘Yes, I’d love another glass of that vintage red – this duck is divine – Ohh the Jag drives as smooth as royal icing – another slice of Viennetta … why not!’ More to the point, I wanted to enjoy a slice of that elegant dessert.
To this day, I have never tried Viennetta. My desire and intrigue were never satisfied. The upgrade from a Pyrex dessert bowl to an elegant dessert glass didn’t happen; the upgrade from the five desserts mentioned earlier, to Vienneta, didn’t happen. Am I still disappointed for not yet carrying out the spoon to mouth process when it comes to Viennetta? No … not really … let me explain: Viennetta has been around since the 1982, and since then, the quality of desserts have escalated to heights where vertigo is a certainty – Vienneta, in my eyes, is no longer at the top of the dessert mountain, and more importantly, its posh status has melted. Based on this conclusion, and the current price point of Viennetta, there is a very high probability that I will be trying it soon – a pint of IPA, a burger, and a slice of Viennetta, all for less than a tenner.
Enjoyed the post? Love all things 80s? Check out my hardback book, Section N Underpass – advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 80s. Click image below to get the rundown:
Watch the 80s advert by clicking the image below