After a long flight to Edinburgh via Amsterdam and a train trek across the peaty countryside of Scotland to Inverness-shire, our hearty little band of whole grain evangelists arrived in the Mecca of porridge, Carrbridge, for the World Porridge Making Championships. The four of us from Bob’s Red Mill and our fan-competitor, Merry Graham, woke in Edinburgh today a bit jet-lagged and bleary-eyed, but nonetheless thrilled to be in this wonderful country to tell the world our secret: oats aren’t just a boring breakfast gruel.
Recall that we wrested the Golden Spurtle from its Scottish clutches in 2009. This year, facing unprecedented competition from the Scots, we tapped into the collective intelligence of Bob’s Red Mill’s myriad of incredibly creative fans by hosting an American elimination heat, the winner of which would be bound to represent the company at this most important and unusual competition. What we uncovered was the tireless imagination and porridge making talent of Southern California-based culinarian, Merry Graham.
Merry’s traditional porridge uses a couple of special secrets I can’t share yet, but take it from me, the former champ, Merry’s porridge is the best I’ve tasted. It’s simple as can be but makes the essential flavors of oats dive into one’s taste buds. Merry’s Specialty Category—the secondary category—recipe pulls together a bunch of her favorite native flavors of the Southwest, like fresh spring onions, tomato and cilantro, all atop a patty of steel cut oats and black beans that redefines comfort food.
Tomorrow is dedicated to preparation for Sunday’s big event but we’ve got things fairly well wrapped up. Now it’s just a matter of time and nerves. There is a tension that hangs like fog over the hamlet of Carrbridge as the competitors flood into town but we’re all feeling quite at ease here at the Fairwinds B&B. Technique matters. Salt matters. Clean water matters. We stand tall and confident with the power of the most important variable in such epicurean fisticuffs—the world’s best ingredients. Nonetheless, we thrive on your support and look forward to you following the event’s unfolding on Sunday. Wish us luck!