Scotts Porage Oats

Scotts Porage Oats

Scott’s Porage Oats were a familiar feature of my childhood, and have always stuck in my memory, partly because of the very distinctive scotsman in his kilt on the packet, and partly because I tried to spell porridge in a spelling test at the age of nine the way they do on the packet (porage) and my teacher marked it wrong. That really confused me!

But though I travelled through my teens and twenties eating chocolate croissants and black coffee for breakfast, the arrival of my own children triggered the porridge bug in me once more. Both my little children love porridge, and now I make enough for all three of us and we all start the day with a bowl of Scott’s oats, made with full cream milk for them, and half semi-skimmed, half water for me!

I personally love the thick-milled variety – they give the porridge a great texture – and I have never come across another brand that does thick milled oats, so I’m a Scott’s fan! They do ‘ordinary’ porridge oats too, which are smaller and create a porridge with a more even texture.

One of the great innovations in porridge preparation in modern times is the microwave – yes you can make your porridge oats in a saucepan for 5-10 minutes, then soak the pan for the next three hours! – but you can also put the required amount in a pyrex jug or bowl with milk or water, pop it in the micro for 5 minutes while you jump in the shower and hey presto! – perfectly cooked oats, ready to eat, and no nasty pan to wash!

Actually I prefer them microwaved – they come out less glutinous and gloopy in texture, but that’s personal preference. Cook them how you will – I have a friend with an aga who puts hers in overnight very very low (like cooking a milk pudding I suppose).

Scotts comes in a cardboard package with no metal or plastic attachments so it is dead easy to recycle, and a rather amateurish pouring spout on the side of the packet that isn’t brilliantly designed in my view, but the alternative would be a metal spout, which would cost more to manufacture and be harder to deal with recycling-wise, so I’ll let them off. You have to tear a sort of cardboard door on the side of the packet, and tuck in a flap to close again. It’s not terrible, but I find it hard to open and inefficient to close.

The porridge is availalbe in major supermarkets and costs GBP 1.16 in Tescos for a 1kg box. The thick milled ones sometimes cost a few pence more (GBP 1.24 in my local supermarket). It has been milled in Scotland since 1888 and is available to be shipped all over the world – clearly a lot of our American and Canadian cousins are prepared to pay for a wee taste of haim. They also now make a “so easy” range in one-bowl sachets designed for the microwave, but I find the regular one cheaper and it does the same job. Actually Scott’s is now owned by Quakers, so that is perhaps why I think the ordinary version of Scott’s oats and Quaker oats taste the same. Mind you, an oat is an oat, isn’t it?

Having said that, I have bought economy oats in plastic bags, and whilst they are fine for miking into a crumble topping or something, I find you can get a lot more dust in a cheaper brand than you do with Scotts – the box is full of good, thick solid oat flakes, which make yummy porridge in under five minutes. Perfect fuel for a winter’s morning!

Advantages: Tastes great, filling, nutritious, good for you, inexpensive

Disadvantages: None, unless you hate porridge!

Summary: Fantastic healthy breakfast food at a great price

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