Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 310+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 27000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at €10.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade Now for €10.99 Learn more
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the European Union version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

OATS The wonder ingredient

These versatile grains are part of British history. Comforting, filling and familiar, they’re a storecupboard staple with great cooking potential. They form the basis of a chewy flapjack, they give texture to cakes and make a crunchy protective coating when frying. If you think oats are just for breakfast, it’s time to think again


Cheesy oat biscuits,

It’s not often something so good for you is so popular to eat…

Cereals have been cultivated since about 10,000 BC but oats are a relatively recent crop. It’s thought they emerged as a weed growing among established wheat and barley crops. The hardiness of oats and their innate ability to thrive in cold climates probably led to their cultivation during the Bronze Age – especially in cooler, more northerly climes.

The Romans grew oats, but deemed them inferior to wheat. Wheat was expensive though and, by the Middle Ages, oats had become a staple food both for livestock and for poor people across Britain. The perceived low status of oats was summed up pithily by Samuel Johnson in his 18th-century dictionary, where he defined them as “a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.”

We now know oats contain high levels of protein, minerals and soluble fibre (see p75), but in 1521 Scottish historian John Major hailed them as “the main strength of the Scottish and English armies – proof that oaten bread is not a thing to be laughed at”. In Scotland, porridge drawers – specially lined sections of a drawer in kitchen dressers – provided a place for breakfast to be poured in, solidified, then cut up and taken out to the fields. During the Industrial Revolution, oat gruel fuelled the workhouses and factories. Traditional oat dishes had strong geographical links. John Lea, the 14th-generation owner of Britain’s oldest oat producer, Mornflake, explains: “Oats are fundamentally a blank canvas. That’s one of the main reasons for them being such a success story.” Scottish tradition calls for porridge made with water, stirred with a wooden ‘spurtle’ and seasoned with salt, while the Welsh thicken their oatmeal with buttermilk – and it’s said the Irish add whiskey to theirs to ward off colds.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of delicious. Magazine - Mar-17
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new delicious. Magazine subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription
Only € 1.75 per issue
Was €33.99
Now €20.99
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only € 3.00 per issue

View Issues

About delicious. Magazine

Treat yourself to the March issue of delicious. and get baking with warming crumbles, Richard Bertinet’s award-winning sourdough and the ultimate custard doughnuts and brownies. Or treat family and friends with happy-making recipes from Thomasina Miers, Rachel Allen and Tom Kerridge. Embark on a new food adventure with DIY ricotta, throw a vegetarian dinner party or learn how to make proper coq au vin. delicious. magazine is the best way to improve your cooking.