For two decades oatmeal fanatics have been vying to raise the Golden Spurtle in recognition of being the world’s best porridge maker.
And now, in it’s 26th year, the World Porridge Making Championships will take place over two days for the first time.
The Carrbridge-based event, on 11 – 12 October, will hold a special “Silver Spurtle” competition on October 11 for young people aged 8-16 before the hotly contested adult event on Saturday.
Contestants will go head-to-head to produce the best ‘traditional’ porridge made from oatmeal, water and salt only, and an additional best ‘speciality’ dish.
The winner of the adult traditional competition receives the Golden Spurtle, with the award of the Silver Spurtle going to the winner of the young person judged to produce the best traditional porridge.
Additional prizes are awarded to the winners of the speciality events and have in the past included dishes such as Rooibos Tea and Atholl Brose Porridge and Pinhead Risotto with Lemon and Thyme and Parmesan.
The event, limited to 26 competitors, has an international reputational, with keen porridge chefs having first competed to win in national events in Germany, Ireland, Russia and Sweden.
Family porridge oat producers Hamlyns of Scotland has renewed their headline sponsorship of the annual event.
The origin of porridge is lost in the mists of time but archaeologists have found it in 5000 year old corpses.
Most countries have a dish that resembles modern porridge and made from a variety of ingredients – barley in the Far East; semolina in the southern hemisphere; corn in the Americas (grits) and juk in Korea.
In many Scottish kitchens there was a ”dresser”, some of these dressers – allegedly – had a “porridge drawer”.
This drawer would be lined and cleaned out at the start of the week.
The family porridge would then be made for the whole week and poured into the drawer to set and cool and slices of cold porridge would be dished out for various meals throughout the week. Or so the story goes...
Entries open on Sunday 10 March and close on 10 June. Details of how to enter are available at www.goldenspurtle.com