Is Posh Porridge the Next Big Thing?

I love this article written by Annie Stevens in the  April Edition of Australias’  Delicious Magazine. Just sums up all my thoughts about AMAZING PORRIDGE.

‘Topped with everything from violet sugar to mulled wine, porridge has never been better.
Here are some of my earliest memories of porridge. The watery slop served at a swimming camp that still somehow reminds me of the smell of chlorine, and the perfect steel cut oats that dad lovingly prepared each morning. The ones that my brother and I sulked about because we were pretty certain that every other kid in the world got to have Coco Pops and why were stuck with boring old porridge? Oh how things change (sorry Dad).

Because now my thoughts often turn to creamy porridge topped with a glug of cream, sliced banana and brown sugar. Or if I’m feeling virtuous, porridge made with quinoa flakes and almond milk, with a dollop of nut butter and berries.

I’m not alone. Porridge is now a sexy food. Which seems rather incongruous given its general colour and texture. But scan the breakfast menu of cafes such as Edition Roasters in Darlinghurst and spot the bowl of grött and glögg, Danish porridge with house mulled wine, decorated with rehydrated fruit, honeycomb and lavender (just TRY and resist ‘gramming that), or the oat porridge strewn with strawberry and rhubarb compote, violet sugar and pistachios at Richmond’s Top Paddock.

We’re not even talking about things like Heston Blumenthal’s snail porridge when we say porridge is getting posh, it’s just that after 32, 000 years (yep, the ancient people were said to eat porridge for breakfast) we’ve maybe hit porridge nirvana.”

Brent Savage, co-owner and chef at Sydney’s Yellow says that the “yellow-bix” oats, fruit, maple and buttermilk dish remains a popular choice on his weekend brunch menu. Partly, says Savage, because people choose porridge because of the mood they’re in.
“Porridge is surprisingly popular these days, especially now that we are coming into Autumn. People seem to be nostalgic about their childhood experiences of eating porridge at home…sometimes good, sometimes bad,” says Savage.
“I love the feeling of satisfaction after you eat it.”

“Porridge is also bang on the clean eating trend, given that plain old oats are high in fibre, protein and the low GI factor keeps you full longer. Plus, there’s the fact that you could swap in other health-conscious grains such as quinoa or amaranth instead. For Corie Sutherland, co-owner of Edition Roasters, the versatility of porridge is a key factor in its appeal.

“Porridge is getting fancier per se, because it’s such a plain staple. There are so many possibilities and creative things you can do with oats and other various ways to cook them, and why stop there – there are other wonderful grains that we can turn into porridge … its versatility is astounding as a culinary premise,” he says, adding that at home he tends to make okayu – Japanese rice porridge.

Another facet of porridge’s rise is due to it being an unlikely winner on Instagram. Indeed, in a direct competition to avocado toast, you can’t scroll too far without coming across a snap of someone’s bowl of porridge lovingly decorated with symmetrical lines of banana slices or oats sitting pretty in a puddle of syrup, often hashtagged with #porridgeporn or #porridgelovers.

It seems porridge lovers are a tribe, with leaders that include the likes of food blogger and cookbook writer Ella Woodward from deliciouslyella who flies the flag for porridge addicts with her regular porridge ‘grams. She describes her love of porridge on her blog as like “eating a giant hug,” which is not inaccurate. Plus, it might even help you to live longer.

All of which adds up to porridge pretty much being the ideal food for the finicky times we’re living in. The inherent customisation that porridge offers is endless – from Jamie Oliver’s recipe for quinoa, oat and linseed porridge topped in his new book, to model Chrissy Teigen’s mum’s “hangover curing” rice porridge in her book Cravings. As for what’s next in porridge? For Sutherland at least it might just involve “something fermented” on the menu at Edition Roasters.

There are, however a few cardinal rules of porridge. Namely, that you must use decent, chunky oats, get the liquid to grain ratio right (purists use only water, but experiment to find your own preference), consistent stirring is essential for creaminess, and as any Scotsman would tell you – don’t forget the salt.

Oh and there’s probably one more porridge rule for the modern day fan to abide – don’t take too long Instagramming your bowl. Because it doesn’t matter how you make your porridge or how many roasted nuts and seasonal berries you sprinkle on top, it remains a truth that there’s nothing sexy about a cold, solidified bowl of oats.”

Five bowls of porridge to try in Sydney.

1.  The foxy spring porridge at Bread and Circus – organic oats with toasted coconut, banana, blueberry and a dollop of organic clotted cream (optional but recommended).
2.  Grött and glögg at Edition Roasters – Danish porridge with house mulled wine, decorated with rehydrated fruit, honeycomb and lavender.
3. Yellow-Bix oats at Yellow – oats, fruit and buttermilk.
4. Polenta porridge at Kettle Black – burnt maple, textures of strawberry and basil
5. Brown rice and sweet miso porridge at Bills – coconut yoghurt, mango and lime

And, as a last link for my posts on porridge have a look at one of my favourites from The First Mess, an award winning food blog by Canadian Laura Wright. Laura’s beautiful photography tantalizes the taste buds and all her recipes are created from plant based and seasonal food.

Vanilla Bean Millet Porridge with Lavender Strawbs & Superseeds

Millet Porridge
Photo Courtesy of The First Mess