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The Ultimate Porridge Holiday

Press Release   •   Nov 29, 2017 11:13 GMT

A bowl of porridge at Ballintaggart Farm, with views to the Perthshire hills beyond

VisitScotland creates the Porridge Grand Tour: ideas for porridge-themed trips in Scotland where oat enthusiasts can indulge their love of porridge and even eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • The Porridge Grand Tour of Scotland provides inspiration for a number of breaks where tourists can enjoy sweet and savoury porridge dishes, possibly for all meals of the day, in a variety of Scotland’s restaurants, hotels and eateries

  • The recommended routes bring to life porridge recipes from some of Scotland’s most talented chefs, which includes a porridge dinner served with pigeon, one with Italian inspired cannelloni and even a whisky jelly option

  • In between porridge meal times, porridge pilgrims can take in the dramatic landscapes of Ballintaggart Farm near Grandtully; Lerwick in Shetland and the vibrant cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as have the opportunity to visit porridge-related places, shops and experiences

2016 was all about kale. This year you couldn’t move without hearing people discussing the best avo on toast or Instagramming their turmeric latte; but what faithful dish has been there for us through thick and thin? Porridge of course! In fact, the tag #porridge pops up almost two million times on any given day on Instagram with an array of toppings. But porridge isn’t just for breakfast anymore. Nowadays it can also be a delicious lunch, dinner and dessert, with chefs and foodies creating ever more imaginative sweet and savoury porridge options suitable for any hour of the day.

To celebrate this VisitScotland, workingtogether with Scotland Food & Drink, has today launched ThePorridge Grand Tour of Scotland: a range of unique porridge-themed adventure recommendations where oat enthusiasts can indulge their love of porridge and even enjoy porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner whilst admiring the view of rolling hills, lochs or castles.

The Porridge Grand Tour of Scotland aims to get taste buds tingling by transporting visitors on an adventure through history and heritage as well as the country’s famous landscapes and vibrant cities. It recommends some of the best places to stop off in Scotland to try a variety of porridge recipes – with the option of eating it over seven times in one trip! There’s a porridge for everyone and any time of the day, with dishes including porridge benedict with seared Scottish pigeon breast, an Italian inspired cannelloni porridge and porridge with whisky jelly, oatmeal cream and raspberry.

There will also be porridge themed cultural learnings and activities to get involved with along the way, such as a visit to the Devil’s Porridge museum in Dumfries & Galloway – so called for the cordite that was produced in the munitions factories in the area during the Second World War. All the while, visitors can soak up Scotland’s famous landscapes, attractions and breathtaking scenery with six suggested itineraries to choose from which head out of the easily accessible Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen. The options for journeys in Scotland are plentiful, as visitors can also follow their tastebuds to Ayrshire and Arran, the Outer Hebrides and beyond.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive for VisitScotland, said: “With a rich natural larder and world famous products like porridge, Scotland offers visitors a truly special food and drink experience. The Porridge Grand Tour of Scotland means porridge-lovers from all over the world can try some of the finest examples of this wonderful delicacy while exploring some fantastic locations across the country.

“Food and Drink is an integral part of the visitor experience and, by working together, we can promote the rich and seasonally variable larder and show that Scotland is well placed to excel in the provision of locally sourced, high quality food and drink products for visitors from near and far.”

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Porridge is becoming more fashionable than ever, with many chefs and food fanatics getting creative with this staple Scottish dish. Whether you like it the traditional way, topped with something sweet or prefer a more savoury offering, The Porridge Grand Tour of Scotland highlights just some of the best places across Scotland to enjoy this iconic dish in a new, fun and exciting way.”

Neal Robertson, Double World Porridge Making Champion and owner of Tannochbrae Tearooms - which is a destination on the tour - said: “It’s amazing to see how much fun people are having with porridge across Scotland and around the world. The possibilities are endless with the humble oat and I can’t wait to show people how to make the perfect bowl of porridge on this Porridge Grand Tour. If I’m feeling generous I might even lend them my winning spurtle invention – the double backed ‘spon’ spoon to try out.”

Visitors who might not want to eat porridge for every meal, can of course dip in and out of oaty experiences as they see fit. The six Porridge Grand Tour of Scotland itinerary suggestions can be adapted and tweaked to suit individual appetites and offer lots of great recommendations for things to do and places to see. A map and suggested itineraries for The Porridge Grand Tour of Scotland will be available to download from www.visitscotland.com/porridge from Wednesday, 29 November 2017.


Notes to Editors

Recipe for Safari or bush porridge

Credit: Ghillie Basan, www.ghilliebasan.com

“A bowl of steaming porridge has been woven into the fabric of Scotland’s rural life since medieval times forming the staple diet of the farm workers and crofters. Historically porridge was made with barley, an ancient grain which made its way north from the Middle East and Africa where it was consumed with vegetables or meat in a thick broth (similar to Scotch Broth), and formed a staple food of much of northern Europe and Russia. As oats gradually replaced barley in Scotland, a basic ‘brose’ or ‘gruel’ was prepared with the oatmeal, often just by soaking it in water and drinking it from the bowl. The traditional bowl of porridge we all enjoy today is still just as simple, the only difference being that the rolled oats or oatmeal are simmered in water or milk and served hot.

“My father was of a generation that grew up with the tradition of porridge stored in the kitchen drawer to cut into squares for the piece to take onto the hill for the day. When at home in Scotland he could execute his traditionalist approach with great satisfaction but, when we lived in East Africa, he had to adapt to the bush-style preparation of porridge. I would open the tent flap in the cool morning air, the steam still rising off the elephant droppings around our tent, to the sight of my father stirring the porridge over the campfire. The camp porridge was his domain and the combination of his fond tales of porridge in his youth and the kilted highlander on the box of Scots porridge oats led me to believe as a child that this was Scotland’s national dish. And in the African bush, this national dish would lure me out of the tent with the warm, sweet aroma of the oats simmering, a smell I still love to this day especially when porridge is prepared outdoors. Lacking fresh milk, porridge in the bush was different every day – sometimes it was drizzled with melted golden syrup or honey (a child’s delight), other times it might be served with coconut milk or condensed milk and, if we were on safari with other families, there was usually a bottle of whisky or rum to hand, a selection of tropical fruits like mangoes, bananas, and pineapples, and perhaps some toasted nuts and coconut chips. A simple bowl of porridge, with its requisite pinch of salt, could become an exotic breakfast feast!

“To make Safari or Bush Porridge, simply…

1.prepare your porridge with rolled oats or oatmeal in the manner that you prefer;

2.Add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste if you like, and then top it with any of the following: mango, banana and pineapple chunks, caramelized in a pan with a little honey or brown sugar coconut chips tossed in a pan with a knob of butter and tiny sprinkle of salt until lightly browned

3.Whisky or rum heated with a spoonful of honey or muscovado sugar

4.Warm or chilled coconut milk or cream. Honey to drizzle; or brown sugar to sprinkle; or sugar flavoured with vanilla, cardamom or cinnamon

“If you’re not driving, the whisky is essential – in my opinion!”

Please note that VisitScotland worked with Scotland Food & Drink to find eateries included in the map.

*The Porridge Grand Tour offers suggestions of places to stay, visit and taste a variety of porridge dishes in Scotland. Interested porridge enthusiasts can create their porridge trip by contacting the individual hotels, restaurants and attractions, recommended in The Porridge Grand Tour itineraries. Please note that we cannot guarantee availability – visitors will have to pick up with the restaurants, activity and accommodation providers to check.

**http://www.scottish-at-heart.com/porridge-recipe.html

http://www.scotsman.com/news/a-slice-of-porridge-has-always-been-top-drawer-1-1408827

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/nov/10/how-to-cook-perfect-porridge

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/are-you-getting-your-oats-how-to-make-perfect-porridge-2118323.html

https://www.jordanscereals.co.uk/news/a-short-history-of-porridge

About VisitScotland

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2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology began on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017.

About Scotland Food & Drink

  • Scotland Food & Drink is the membership organisation tasked with driving responsible growth through collaborative partnership between public sector and its member companies.
  • Established in 2007, Scotland Food & Drink brings all the industry associations– from farmers and fishermen to manufacturers – together with the key public-sector agencies. Together, we work in a spirit of collaboration and partnership to develop the economic growth strategy for the industry, which Government and public-sector agencies align their support behind.
  • Working with The Scotland Food & Drink Partnership, we aim to double the value of the country's farming, fishing, food and drink industry to £30 billion by 2030 and to cement Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
  • The SF&D Partnership is increasingly recognised across the rest of the UK and internationally as a model to follow. The partnership between industry and government forged through SF&D has been integral to success and is recognised as key to food and drink moving from being a sector of static growth in 2007, to one of the best performing sectors of the Scottish economy.

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