Porridge- from Functional to Scrumptious

Are you old enough to remember what it was like growing up in the 70s, 80s, or even the early 90s? If so, you'll agree that life was pretty different right? If not, then let me explain.

Life was very simple. There was no such thing as mobile phones, or personal computers or smart devices. We didn’t have email or social media and- as old photographs we’ve rummaged through clearly prove- we had very little fashion sense either.

Even food was different. Huh? Don’t get us wrong, we still ate plenty but by and large eating was functional. The Michelin man (remember him?) was talked about, Michelin stars were not. You see the fact is that not only was there very little choice when it came to consumer goods, money was also a lot scarcer than it is today: people didn’t have credit cards, and because families still very much believed in living within their means they ate three square meals a day, all sat around a table together in perfect harmony, with no devices to turn to for distraction.

Breakfast in the olden days!

Given all of the above, it’s hardly surprising that the humble bowl of porridge was a pretty plain and almost universally un-appetising experience: no frills, no fancy toppings, and no fuss. Just porridge oats boiled on the cooker with nothing added but water and maybe a dash of salt: healthy, filling and functional.

But that was the ethos and culture of the day; sugary cereals as we know them today simply didn’t exist and breakfast was still very much regarded as a meal whose function was purely to ‘set you up for the day’.

The functional porridge experience of years gone by….

While porridge is pretty much the same now as it has been for centuries, nothing added or taken away; what is different is the way in which it’s now perceived. Where once the morning porridge experience was a rather depressing and indeed functional one, now it’s anything but!

And here’s why….

Whereas now we choose to enjoy a lovely hot bowl of porridge on a cold winter’s morning, right up until around 10 years ago, it was something that we endured. In other words we ate it because as kids growing up it was what we were given in the morning and told to ‘eat up, it’s good for you’!

The choice of porridge oats today…

Just think about the breakfast aisle of your local supermarket; where once you’d have struggled to spot porridge oats amongst the rest of the more ‘bling’ cereals, now you’ll see an entire section devoted to porridge oats. Furthermore it’s no longer the one-size-fits-all product it used to be; now you’ll find it in small sizes, big packet sizes, single portion porridge servings, microwaveable single-serve porridge sachets, multi-flavour porridge oats sachets, on-the-go pots, ready-to-eat oat cereals…..

Yep, it’s pretty evident alright that porridge is no longer just ‘plain old oats in a pack’. Now it’s an entire product line that offers so many options you’ll need 10 minutes to choose the right one for you!

To the scrumptious porridge experience of today

Thank fully the days of porridge being a purely functional foodstuff, one that wasn’t ever designed to be enjoyed, are long gone. Now it’s a breakfast that kids and adults love, partly because as a much more sophisticated society we’ve finally discovered that it’s not hard to make porridge taste delicious! Today’s perception of porridge oats as a truly delicious and versatile breakfast option is evident from the many colourful and experimental toppings being posted and shared socially.

No two bowls of porridge need ever be the same: top with seeds or add fruit, yoghurt or cream, chocolate or whiskey, honey or maple syrup. In fact, add whatever you choose because at the end of the day what makes your porridge so delicious is the fact that you decide exactly how to make it uniquely yours!


Whites Oats

today and enjoy oats from one of Ireland’s oldest millers. Established in Tandragee, Armagh 1841, Whites Oats have been milling for 175 years so there’s not much they don’t know when it comes to making the perfect bowl of porridge!

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