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Tuesday, 25 October 2016


Oats is the staple grain of Scotland. as they are better suited than wheat to the country's low temperatures and high humidity. As a result, oatmeal has a long history in Scottish culinary tradition.

Rolled oats, a type of oatmeal. By Bill Ebbesen - Wikipedia Commons

Scottish soldiers in the 14th century carried bags of oatmeal and cooked themselves fresh oatcakes wherever they camped. The dough was rolled out then whilst one side was baked on a flat iron plate the other side was toasted on the campfire. These cakes helped to comfort their stomach and gave them the energy to endure long marches.

An English visitor to Scotland in the early 17th century described a "pottage" made of oatmeal flour, boiled in water and eaten with butter, milk or ale. This meal, which was to become known as porridge had many regional variations in Scotland and was either served at breakfast or as the main course at lunch or dinner.

Bowl of oatmeal cooked with water to create porridge.By Narek75 - Wikipedia

A typical seaman's breakfast in the British navy at the turn of the 19th century was burgoo, made of boiled oatmeal seasoned with salt, sugar and butter, and accompanied by 'Scots coffee' - made of hard-baked ships biscuits burnt to a charcoal, then crushed and mixed with hot water.

The world's largest oatmeal cake was baked and built in Bertram, Texas during Labor Day weekend 1991. The 33-layer cake stood more than 3 feet tall, weighed 333 pounds, and served 3,333 people.

The traditional cake eaten on Bonfire Night is Parkin cake, made from oatmeal, ginger, treacle and syrup.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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