Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
I DON'T LIKE porridge. There, I said it. The reason I don't like it is not so much because of
the taste - the stuff doesn't actually have much of a taste of its own, though what it does
have I don't find very attractive - as because of the way it feels in my mouth. There is,
for me, something unbearably, slidingly glutinous about porridge that pretty much does
turn my stomach. Frankly, any time that I do try it, I can't get over the feeling that I'm
basically eating wallpaper paste.
Now, I wish this was not the case; I feel a bit bad that I don't like porridge, because
I am Scottish, after all, and I even feel - albeit to a relatively small degree and with the
usual liberal corollaries regarding nationalism, bigotry and the randomness of birth and
subsequent identity - proud to be Scottish, and porridge is an undeniable part of my herit-
age. It's arguably an important part of that heritage, because the seed it's made from, oats,
has played a vital role in keeping Scottish people fed over the centuries. Without oats -
and barley - we might have had something like the Irish potato famine to add to our cata-
logue of Rubbish Things That Have Happened To Us.
So I keep trying to like porridge. I attempt to eat a bowl every year or so, especially
if I'm in somebody's house who is known for making great porridge, or if I'm in a hotel
with a reputation for prodigious porridge or brilliant breakfasts or just good food in gen-
eral. I have tried it with the usual things people add to porridge to make it, well, taste of
something other than porridge, I suppose (and this is the main piece of evidence I'd of-
fer for this dislike of porridge not being just me; if the stuff's so bloody marvellous, how
come you have to add all these other things to it?).
To this end, and to counter that familiar feeling that I'm eating something which
would be better used to make rolls of anaglypta adhere to a wall, I've tried it the purist's
way, with a little salt (this makes it taste like salty wallpaper paste), with honey (it tastes
like sweet wallpaper paste) and with strawberry jam (guess what?). Personally, nothing
works. I just keep thinking the salt would taste better on an egg, and the honey and jam
better on a bit of toast. There would seem to be these two basic approaches to adding stuff
to porridge to make it remotely palatable; the sweet route and the savoury. The sweet way
generally means preserves and the savoury starts with salt and ends with, well, Marmite,
in the case of one of my sisters-in-law (if you're grimacing at the thought of Marmite
stirred into porridge, you are not alone). And/or you can add milk, which doesn't really
make the horrible, sloppy, squelchy stuff taste any better but does at least dilute it. Even
Search WWH ::

Custom Search