Litera N

Name given to the coffee surrogate, which seems to have been made of fried barley.

The ?nechezol? was a mixture of 40% coffee and 60% barley. Generally horses are fed with barley, hence the name (Rom. ?a necheza? = ?to neigh?). But the ?nechezol? is not really made of barley, but something like beans. They still do it in the countryside, they?ve grown used to it. (I. H., 29)

There was a joke. A guy asks another: why is it called ?nechezol?? Is it because if you drink it you start neighing? No, the other answers, it?s because your thing will become as black as the horse?s. Or, in another variant, the question was: and will your thing grow as big as the horse?s? No, just as black.

Indeed, the ?nechezol? really had some strange side effects. At some point, real coffee disappeared altogether from the market. You could no longer find it even in the home delivery centers. All you could get was the ?nechezol?. (I. H., 48)

The coffee of the last communist decade, popularly known as ?nechezol?, was a strange mixture of barley, chestnuts and coffee. The very name put us in line with the animals. Some would sieve it, to separate the straws from the rest. Those who had a cholecyst condition tried to avoid it. The coffee surrogates ? Inka, Vitakava ? were rare. Once, during an endless winter, in my office at the Institute for Ethnologic and Dialectologic Research, I drank ?nechezol? boiled in the greasy water in which we had also boiled some Polish sausages. Contempt, irony, despair? (7)


We seemed to get along with our neighbors much finer than today. Values were respected and professions were respected. If on someone?s door was written ?specialist? it meant he really was one, and he could give good advice. (22)

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