A French woman’s adventure in Porridge

SOMETIME, you need some challenges to spice up your life.  My last breakfast dare was exactly that kind of experience.

While some people would prefer regular toasted slices of bread with butter and jam, croissants or yoghurt and fruits for breakfast, others would enjoy a bowl of porridge. Wait, did you just say porridge? No way! I’m French! I eat crunchy nutty cereals. Any self-respecting anglo-saxon cereal marketing experts will tell you: ‘French people drive us nuts with their cereals’.

But by choosing to move to the UK last year, I knew there was a slight risk of exposing myself to some adventurous culinary experiences that even my ‘ready to try anything’ mindset would have never considered.I had to assume my choice! But, come on, porridge! That soggy cold mixture doesn’t even match my idea of the most basic breakfast.

And then comes Twitter and the power of social media. A tool so powerful that you haven’t even had the chance to breathe that you’ve already booked a porridge-tasting session on a Sunday morning. Was I really that sleepy to accept or was it because, just like St Thomas, I need to see to believe?!

On a cold Sunday morning, I was on my way to meet my lovely host, Camilla from Rude Health, who courageously took on the challenge of revealing  everyone’s  deep-seated love for porridge. Good luck!

Camilla welcomed me with a big smile and, as I stepped into their warm and cosy kitchen, looking at the children’s drawings on the walls, I told myself that maybe porridge couldn’t be that bad. They all looked healthy after all!

A French au pair was also there, looking over her different breakfast options. After a quick glance at the muesli and porridge boxes, she asked ‘do you have something crunchier?  With bigger nuts?‘. Ah! See, told you! The French and their crunchy nutty cereals. We’re not made for porridge, that’s all!

But my curiosity was much too strong and I needed to understand why, one day, Camilla and her husband had decided to change tack and move into the porridge business in. Why would you do that to yourself?!

Some neighbours and us weren’t pleased with the Muesli we could find on the market. It was bland and not very appealing to the palate. We therefore decided to create our own muesli and instead of using the classic 12/13 ingredients, we ended up mixing 23 different nuts and oats all together to create the magic recipe.

The dynamic team then met with delis to see if they would be interested in their Muesli and after having convinced wholesalers to buy their product, their first boxes were on the shelves of neighbourhood delis. Since then, the company hasn’t stopped growing since.

“The quest for the ultimate Muesli recipe left us with a huge amount of oats and nuts. Instead of throwing everything away, we decided to create porridge! But porridge doesn’t have to be basic food. It is easy now to create gourmet porridge by adding fabulous ingredients and that’s what we’re aiming to do at Rude Health.

“It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the one that would power you up. ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’ should be our everyday motto. With our products, we make sure to offer people like you and me something they would enjoy, something with a home-made touch. We realised that a lot of people had their breakfast at the office and we wanted to give them a taste of home!

But back to my “try to get @mathildecuisine convinced”challenge! With some pressure on her shoulders, Camilla was doing her best to defend the honour of porridge. After having chopped, poured and stirred, it was now time for the ultimate test. A bit of sugar, some maple syrup, the intriguing mixture was apparently ready.

A spoon in hand, I slowly dived in this mixture, brought the spoon to my mouth and…I felt a comforting sensation that my palate decided to adopt immediately. Was it good? Yes. Did it feel good? Yes. Was it what had been imaging for ages? No.

To celebrate that unique moment, Camilla served me a portion of her spotted dick porridge, the @porridgelady’s winning recipe at the Golden Spurtle ‘Speciality’ competition. It was good, very good, and comforting. All I needed to face a cold Sunday morning.

Congratulation, Camilla, for having convinced me that porridge was good, both for our health and the palate! It was a wonderful morning and Bravo for your hard work on developing good and high quality products. As a self-respecting French woman, I stand corrected and, maybe, just a little more English.

Rude Health


14 thoughts on “A French woman’s adventure in Porridge

  1. ooh…I love porridge but my hub (who is French) turn green at the mention of it. At home, I would cook oats with water and a spoonful of sweet condensed milk. Here, I cook it with milk and a spoonful of sugar. I love the smell and taste of it. My poppet has yet to learn to love it.

  2. Huzzah! You’ve succumbed to the joy of porridge! Well done, frankly I was never in doubt of Rude Health’s powers of persuasion, they make the best damned porridge on the planet. And that spotted dick sounds amazing, shall have to snaffle the recipe off Camilla. Save your crunchy nutty cereal for baking Mathilde and plump for porridge 😉

  3. Be warned Mathilde, once you start on the porridge path, it’s very hard to turn back. It’s extra nice if you soak the oats the night before.

  4. But I thought French women ate only croissants and coffee for breakfast?

    I can’t say I like porridge nor muesli (perhaps I associate it with having to be at work since I eat muesli at my desk) but weirdly I love congee.

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