Monday, December 07, 2009

Oatmeal trendy...what?

I made oatmeal for breakfast this morning, as I do once a week or so. I use Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and cook two portions in a pyrex cup in the microwave. Everybody does it this way, or directly in the bowl they're going to eat from, as far as I know. The result is good -- especially with maple syrup and maybe some dried fruit -- and the clean-up is easy.

In England, they call this porridge. And it's a BIG TIME fad, according to this article by Louise France in the Guardian online food section:

Why porridge is the new power breakfast

Sales are increasing rapidly --
"Suddenly an old-fashioned fry-up or a pain au chocolat seem like folly, as indulgent and unwise as an MP's expenses claim. Call it nostalgia, or a childish longing for comfort food, or a rampant fear of cholesterol, but everyone is going to work on versions of oats, water and salt."
Health claims are rampant -- porridge has become "a kind of heroic superfood, able to do everything from hoover up cholesterol, boost testosterone levels, fend off heart disease, suppress the appetite and beat depression."

Celebrities who eat porridge are named and extolled. Restaurants create "posh" porridges of various sorts costing over $10 a bowl (if I did the exchange rate math right). The author gushes: "At the casually stylish Modern Pantry in east London I'm served jumbo and rolled oats in a moat of cream with crunchy dark muscovado sugar scattered on top, the swirl of dark sugar contrasting with the off-white puddle of cream."

Competitors enter contests for best recipe -- "including braised pigeon with porridge (not to be recommended) and a porridge spotted dick, with spices and dried fruit (surprisingly delicious)."

A funny fad!

1 comment:

Jens Zorn said...

Interesting note! I resonate with this because my own standard breakfast is a mixture of oatmeal (standard flakes) with admixtures of steel cut oats, nuts, and cranberries.
This microwaved, with water, in its own bowl (6 min at 60% power); then topped with slices of banana. Milk & some sweetner (maple syrup, dab of granola, --etc).
I like your phrase of "hoovering up" the bad stuff because it makes me feel like a member of the in-group.