Taste Test - Instant porridge

  • The List
  • 27 November 2008

Ready Brek Original •

Various stockists including Tesco, Morrisons and Asda. £1.89 for 750g.
Tasting like mushy Weetabix and looking a lot like Polyfilla, this soggy and bland excuse for porridge is awful. Its one redeeming feature, a smooth and delicate texture, scores points for masking that sinking suspicion that you’re actually eating a piece of cardboard. Not what you’d expect.

Oats So Simple - Golden Syrup •••

Various stockists including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda. £1.99 for 360g.
A little awkward to prepare (pouring milk into a sachet!), this makes up for it with its soft taste. Sweetly moreish, it resembles a rice pudding dessert – with a silky smooth consistency. Although it feels slightly artificial on the tongue, if you like your breakfast on the sugary side, it serves as a good introduction to porridge.

Rude Health Fruity Date Organic Porridge •••••

Available from Waitrose and GreenCity Wholefoods, Glasgow, £3.29 for 550g.
Creamy and comforting, this gets the balance exactly right – a subtle hint of cinnamon and apple adds natural sweetness, whilst the jumbo oats give a wonderful, home cooked taste. Healthy, but not like a penance, with some surprise organic twists (the dates are good).

Scotts Old Fashioned Porage Oats ••

Various stockists, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s. £1.50 for 1kg.
A good, strong taste of oats was the only saving grace here. With a horrible, spongy texture, the horrendous consistency spoiled what could have been a wonderful dish. A reminder that some porridge just doesn’t work in the microwave. Far better to heat it on the stove – even if takes an extra minute.

Stoats Berryfeast Porridge Premix ••••

Stoats Porridge, Edinburgh. www.stoatsporridgebars.co.uk, £2.50 for 400g tub.
An exotic twist on the traditional. Goji berries provide sharply sweet bursts, and the added bonus of being considered a ‘superfood’. Though lacking a well-rounded overall flavour, the oat blend is smooth and survives a good blast in the microwave. The pot provides a perfect portion.

Marks and Spencer – Apple, Sultana, and Cinnamon Porridge •••

See www.marksandspencer.com for your nearest branch, 320g box.
Despite a fairly gruesome and gloopy presentation, this porridge offers a refreshing change in terms of taste. The cinnamon is slightly overpowering, but well complemented by a delicate apple flavour. Eat too much and it starts to feel a little stodgy, but generally a good twist on an old favourite.

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