Talking Pyrex With Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

I’m always telling people that vintage Pyrex is not just for display but also for use, not just  in the oven but also to store leftovers in the fridge or freezer and even more importantly, bearing in mind the discarded single use plastic crisis which is currently threatening to overwhelm the entire globe, Pyrex can be used when you go to the supermarket on the deli counter.  You can use use bags for fruit and vegetables but Pyrex is ideal for bringing meat, fish or potato salad home with you.  I use fridgies or mini casserole dishes for the smaller stuff and larger dishes for meat or fish.  I have many beautiful pieces on display which I adore but there’s a special place in my heart for the vintage Pyrex I use day to day.  I must say though that having to hand wash them is a drag (everyone in my house detests washing up!) but well worth it to use such well made dishes and to make a small contribution to reducing the mountains of waste suffocating our planet.

I’m very concerned about the environment and do all I can to make my business sustainable in terms of packaging and administration and I try to do that in my personal life as well.  I’ve been a great fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for ages, I love his River Cottage shows but I’ve been really impressed with the other special projects he has taken on recently.  Hugh attempted to resolve the nation’s obesity problem in Britain’s Fat Fight, Hugh’s Fish Fight saw him trying to reform the fishing industry to make it more sustainable and Hugh’s War on Waste saw him challenging supermarkets and fast food chains to reduce waste – this put a spotlight on disposable coffee cups which led to coffee chains introducing incentives for customers to bring their own coffee cup and the introduction at long last, of recyclable coffee cups.  This year Hugh, along with Anita Rani, started a War on Plastic which highlighted just how much single use plastic sneaks into our homes without us even being aware of it.  Obviously Hugh is a very busy man but he agreed to chat with us and answer a couple of vintage Pyrex questions!

 We asked Hugh do you have any childhood memories of Vintage Pyrex?

I feel like I’ve lived with and cooked with Pyrex all my life. My mum still has a Pyrex pie dish that was always the go to dish for her amazing shepherd’s pie and macaroni cheese. And I’ve had Pyrex measuring jugs in my kitchen cupboard for decades. There is undoubtedly something comforting about this history and continuity, and that means it’s always a pleasure to use.

Vintage Pyrex is a design classic with impeccable eco-friendly and feminist (the idea was a woman’s and women developed the concept) credentials. What do you think is its most enduring legacy?

Durability is clearly the key. I must have used some of my Pyrex thousands of times. It’s amazing that, considering it is technically breakable, it actually hardly ever breaks!

Hugh is indefatigable in his attempts to improve our society both in terms of improving the health of individuals and in raising awareness of the damage to the environment which we all contribute to on a daily basis and as such is one of my heroes.  I was so pleased to find that Hugh has happy memories of his mum cooking with Pyrex (as I suspect most of us do) and that he’s always been a fan of our favourite cookware!

Author: PyrexPartyPixie

I’m a student, swimmer and sci-fi fan by day but by night (well, more like evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays) I don my apron and become the Pyrex Party Pixie! I love all things Pyrex and have been a collector for some time now. My earliest experience of Pyrex was my mum’s clear jug and mixing bowl - both of which, had I bothered to think of them at all, I would have considered boring, and utilitarian. Then I saw some vintage Pyrex in a charity shop and I was hooked! I love cooking and I’d never seen such colourful, versatile and well-designed cookware before. Using the colourful designs from the ‘fifties, ‘sixties and ‘seventies really brightens your day, whether you’re cooking for pleasure or through necessity. As my collection grew I discovered that I genuinely enjoy looking for vintage pieces, almost as much as I enjoy displaying and using them and thus Pyrex Party Pixie came to be. Not everyone enjoys the search though, so I thought it would be good to have a one-stop vintage Pyrex shop online, especially helpful for collectors or casual admirers who don’t have access to any local sources of new pieces. This blog is based on my love of vintage Pyrex! Hope you enjoy :)

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