As the comments above suggest, adding salt is a shibboleth, a test for Scottishness or identification with Scotland in the vast diaspora of Scots. And it makes practical sense if one is cooking a porridge to keep cold for the next day or the rest of the week (more on that later).
An important thing so many people forget is salt. It adds depth to the porridge and will bring out the sweetness of any toppings – so add a pinch of the stuff as it's coming to the boil and mix it all around.
Originally only made with water and salt, the paste, or porridge as it became known, bore little likeness to the thick, creamy mixture we know today. The traditional Scottish dish can have many tastes and textures. Some like it thick and sweet, some with salt.
Traditionally porridge in Scotland was made and kept in a Porridge Drawer where it solidified and was cut out in bars and eaten later by workers for lunch to keep them going all day. Originally Scots porridge was served in a wooden bowl and when cooked stirred with a special wooden stick called a Spurtle.
What's in a Scottish Breakfast? Ingredients vary from place to place, but the basic ingredients to a traditional breakfast include square lorne sausage, link sausages, fried egg, streaky bacon, baked beans, black pudding and/or haggis, tattie scones, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, and toast.
It's not a different variety: rather, instead of being steamed and rolled like regular American oats, Scottish oats are slowly ground between two millstones, producing a smooth texture, more like a traditional porridge.
Scotland's iconic national dish known as haggis consists of sausage meat made from the innards of the sheep mixed with onions, oatmeal, suet, stock, dried herbs and other seasonings. These ingredients are combined and then boiled inside the lining of a sheep's stomach.
Porridge is steeped in tradition. Described by Robert Burns, Scotland's favourite poet, as the “chief” of Scottish food, it has been a staple for many Scots for centuries, with a huge batch made and stored in a kitchen drawer and served in cold slices throughout the week.
Oats with milk and fresh fruits: One of the easiest way to have oats is with some warm milk, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds. You can even use coconut milk and sweet berries. Take a bowl of warm milk then add half a cup of dry roasted oats along with everything that your heart desires.
Is Scottish oatmeal healthy? What is this? Scottish oatmeal goes beyond the abundant source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals naturally found in oats. The balance of insoluble and soluble fiber prevents constipations, maintains a full feeling long periods of time, and also may help to lower LDL cholesterol.
Samin Nosrat, author of Salt Fat Acid Heat, notes that salt is one of the most important flavor-building ingredients you can add to any plate, and unless you're salting the top of a finished meal, a pinch won't make much of a difference.
Regardless of the type, shape or size, all porridge oats are wholegrains and they all contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which can help lower your cholesterol level if you have 3g or more of it daily, as part of a healthy diet.
The key to getting a creamy, not-gluey bowl of oatmeal is using enough water. Notice we said water—cooking oatmeal in milk tends to make a stickier, thicker oatmeal. Follow the directions on the canister using H2O, then add a splash of milk or almond milk in the bowl.
Before Sir Walter Raleigh's introduction of the potato to the British Isles, the Scots' main source of carbohydrate was bread made from oats or barley. Wheat was generally difficult to grow because of the damp climate.
The diet promotes foods with a low glycaemic index. Being a good source of complex carbohydrates, the oats help to release energy slowly into the bloodstream. As the oats are wholegrain, they have a natural goodness that is absent in other processed cereals, which means they are great for lowering cholesterol.
The preparation of rice porridge has been documented in China for about 4,500 years, while in other regions of Asia quinoa was consumed in the form of porridge more than 3,000 years ago. Porridge was also common in the Mediterranean area, Africa and Latin America.
What's the difference between Scottish and Irish oats?
Those small pieces are steel-cut or "Irish" oats, and if they in turn are rolled they produce quick oat flakes. The Scots, rather than chopping their oats, stone-grind them into meal much as Americans do with corn.
Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They're a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits. These include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease.
They found that 74 per cent of Scots surveyed call their evening meal dinner. Only 19 per cent think it should be called tea while six per cent said it should be called supper. The findings set Scots apart from our neighbours in the north of England where the evening meal is often referred to as tea.
A plain loaf, slices of which are known in Scots as plain breid (pronounced [plen brid]), is a traditional style of loaf made chiefly in Scotland and Ireland. It has a dark, well-fired crust on the top and bottom of the bread.
One of our most traditional and famous dishes is haggis, neeps and tatties, which is made up of hearty haggis, of course, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes) and is usually served up with a dram, or two, of Scotch whisky.