Porridge is a food commonly eaten as a breakfast cereal dish, made by heating or boiling ground, crushed or chopped starchy plants, typically grain, in milk. It is often cooked or served with added flavourings such as sugar, honey, (dried) fruit or syrup to make a sweet cereal, or it can be mixed with spices, meat or vegetables to make a savoury dish. It is usually served hot in a bowl, depending on its consistency. Oat porridge, or , is one of the most common types of porridge. ' is a thinner version of porridge.

Type of grains

The term "porridge" is often used specifically for oat porridge (oatmeal), which is typically eaten for breakfast with salt, sugar, fruit, milk, cream or butter and sometimes other flavorings. Oat porridge is also sold in ready-made or partly cooked form as an instant breakfast. Other grains used for porridge include rice, wheat, barley, corn, and . Many types of porridge have their own names, such as , , and .


Historically, porridge was a in much of the world, including Europe and Africa, and it remains a staple food in many parts of the world. Porridge was first produced during the by hunter-gatherers, in Southern Italy, but would become commonplace during the . The dish has traditionally been closely associated with , possibly because oats can be successfully cultivated on marginal upland soils. In 1775, Dr. wrote that oats were "a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people". Oats were introduced to Scotland in about 600 AD, but traces of barley porridge have been found in pots excavated in the which have been dated to 2,500 years ago.

Conventional uses

As well as a breakfast cereal, porridge is used in many cultures as a common snack and is often eaten by athletes.


Unenriched porridge (as oatmeal), cooked by boiling or microwave, is 84% water, and contains 12% , including 2% and 2% each of and (table). In a 100 gram reference amount, cooked porridge provides 71 and contains 29% of the (DV) for and moderate content of and (11% DV each), with no other s in significant content (table).

Health effect

A 2014 review found that daily intake of at least 3 grams of oat lowers total and levels by 5–10% in people with normal or elevated levels. Beta-glucan lowers cholesterol by inhibiting cholesterol production, although cholesterol reduction is greater in people with higher total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in their blood. In the United States, the issued a final ruling in 2015 stating that food companies can make for products containing from whole oats (oat bran, oat flour and rolled oats), noting that 3.0 grams of soluble fiber daily from these foods may reduce the risk of . To qualify for the health claim, the food that contains the oats must provide at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving.



* porridge: **, a Mexican dish of in water or milk. ** (a chocolate-based atole), a Mexican blend of , , and corn or corn flour. The Philippine dish is similar, with rice instead of maize. ** ''Cir'', ''păsat'' or (when firmer) ' are all Romanian maize porridges. ** ''Colada'', a hot dish prepared with , milk, sugar and cinnamon in Colombia and Ecuador. ** , a traditional dish in southern and mid-Atlantic US states. ** Cornmeal porridge (parrige), a traditional dish served for breakfast throughout the Caribbean and among Rastafarians. A blend of fine semolina with milk or water and often with all spice and sugar. ** or ''papilla'', a traditional Dominican dish of porridge maize or grass peas. ** , a Spanish porridge of maize or grass peas. Often garnished with roasted almonds and of bread fried in olive oil. ** , a porridge of toasted coarse-ground maize. Made from roasted sweetcorn and other grains (e.g., wheat, barley or oats), used in many ways in parts of the world from which Canary Islanders have emigrated. ** , ground , is common in the southern United States, traditionally served with butter, salt and black pepper. Sometimes, it is also served with cheese. ** , a maize porridge from the . ** , a fermented corn porridge dish that is made and consumed by the of New Zealand ** , a maize porridge from 's made with whole maize grains that can be sweet or salty. ** , an Italian maize porridge which is cooked to a solidified state and sliced for serving. ** is made from dried maize and peas with animal fat and was a staple food of the . ** , a Salvadoran dish of black, blue or purple corn flour, ground seeds, and red cooked s, which was traditionally drunk out of a hollowed-out gourd at early morning, especially coming from a hunting or drinking trip. ** ''Suppawn,'' also called, and better known as, , was common in and consisted of cornmeal boiled with milk into a thick porridge. Still eaten in modern times, it is no longer necessarily corn-based. ** ''Uji'', a thick East African porridge made most commonly from corn flour mixed with sorghum and many other different ground cereals, with milk or butter and sugar or salt. , a more solid meal, is also made from maize flour, likewise often mixed with other cereals. These two, under various names, are s over a wide part of the African continent, e.g., in South Africa, in Zimbabwe, in Zambia, tuwo or ogi in Nigeria, etc., though some of these may also be made from . ** ', a maize porridge prepared in the Kajkavian countries and . ** ' is a maize porridge staple in .


* porridge: ** porridge is a staple food in northern China. ** A porridge made from is the staple food in Niger and surrounding regions of the . ** Oshifima or otjifima, a stiff pearl millet porridge, is the staple food of northern Namibia. ** Middle Eastern millet porridge, often seasoned with and . ** , a millet porridge eaten by the , a native people of northern Japan. ** Milium in aqua was a millet porridge made with goat's milk that was eaten in . ** A porridge, by name 'jaava' is consumed as a breakfast item during summer season in the speaking region of ** is a millet porridge commonly sold in .


* , traditional and common in the , and the . Oat porridge has been found in the stomachs of 5,000-year-old in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Varieties of oat porridge include: ** , a porridge made from unprocessed oats or wheat. ** , very thin porridge, often drunk rather than eaten. ** Yod Kerc'h, a traditional oat porridge from the north-west of France, primarily , made with oats, butter and water or milk. ** Owsianka, an east European (Russia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine) traditional made with hot , oats and sometimes with and . ** Porridge made from or ground oatmeal is common in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Finland and Scandinavia. It is known as simply "porridge" or, more commonly in the United States and Canada, "". In the US, oat and wheat porridge can both be called "hot cereal". Rolled oats are commonly used in England, oatmeal in Scotland and in Ireland. In the during the , cooks made ' for the men for breakfast, from coarse oatmeal and water. ** Porridge (Parrige) – Anglophone Caribbean (Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad etc.) Also known as Pap. The most common type is , and they are always made with milk. Varieties include oatmeal, grated green plantain, barley, cream of wheat, sago (tapioca). Oatmeal porridge is often flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar or almond essence. ** Stirabout – Irish porridge, traditionally made by stirring oats into boiling water ** ''Terci de ovăz'', traditional oatmeal in Romania. ** ''Zabkása'', traditional oatmeal in Hungary.

Types of oats

Oats for porridge may be whole (), cut into two or three pieces (called "pinhead", "steel-cut" or "coarse" oatmeal), ground into medium or fine or steamed and rolled into flakes of varying sizes and thicknesses (called "rolled oats", the largest size being "jumbo"). The larger the pieces of oat used, the more textured the resulting porridge. It is said that, because of their size and shape, the body breaks steel-cut oats down more slowly than rolled oats, reducing spikes in and making the eater feel full longer. The US ' Web site found that the more cooking required, the stronger the oat flavor and the less mushy the texture. Oats are a good source of dietary fibre; health benefits are claimed for in particular, which is part of the grain.


The oats are cooked in milk, water or a mixture of the two. traditionalists allow only oats, water and salt.How to cook perfect porridge
Felicity Cloake, ''The Guardian'', 10 November 2011.
There are techniques suggested by cooks, such as presoaking, but a comparative test found little difference in the end result. Various flavorings can be used and may vary widely by taste and locality. , , and are common. Cold milk or single cream may be used.


* porridge: ** , a sweet chocolate rice porridge in Filipino cuisine. It is traditionally made by boiling sticky rice with cocoa powder, giving it a distinctly brown color and usually with milk and sugar to make it taste sweeter. ** , a common East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian dish of boiled-down rice: *** In Bangladesh congee is prepared simply as a porridge, Whole rice (not parboiled, scented or unscented) with a bit of salt, it is known as "Jao" eaten as wholesome diet for the sick. Added date tree sugar and garam masala it is called "Kheer", Or, cooked with Sugar, Milk, nuts & raisins, cardamom, Cassia, cinnamon, Indian bay leaf, etc. it is called "Paiesh". Both "Kheer" & "Paiesh" are eaten as Dessert. *** In Sri Lanka congee is prepared with many ingredients. As a porridge, Sinhala people mainly use coconut milk with rice flour, it is known as "Kiriya." *** Chinese congee, called ' in Mandarin, and ' in Cantonese, can be served with a , , , , fried noodles or , deep-fried dough strips. Meiling porridge (''Meiling zhou'' 美齡粥) made of rice, yam and soya-milk, named after , is a classic dish of . *** Indonesian and Malaysian congee, called ''bubur'', comes in many regional varieties, such as bubur sumsum, made from rice flour boiled with coconut milk then served with palm sugar sauce; and also bubur or , a rice porridge mixed with various vegetables and eaten with fried salted fish and chili sauce. There is also congee made from s, called or congee with chicken called *** Japanese congee, called ', is mixed with and green onions. Often accompanied with variety of foods such as (preserved vegetables), (preserved seafoods) and so on. *** Korean congee, called ', can have added seafood, pine nuts, mushrooms, etc. *** Thai congee, called "khao tom" (ข้าวต้ม), or "Jok" (โจ๊ก), can have added coriander, preserved duck eggs, fish sauce, sliced s, pickled mustard greens or salt cabbage preserves, red pepper flakes, etc. *** Vietnamese congee, called ''cháo'', can be made with or stock and contains and . It is often served with s and fried sticks of bread. *** Filipino congee, called ' or ''arroz caldo'', contains , and sometimes meat. Less common ingredients include boiled eggs, pepper, chilies, , lumpiang toge, , fish sauce, sauce, and spring onions. It is common as a street food. ** , a brand of American rice porridge, boiled in milk or water with sugar or salt. ** ''Ambrosia Creamed Rice'', a brand of UK rice pudding, made of rice and milk/cream, since 1937. ** (or Ksheer), a traditional Indian sweet dish, made of rice boiled in milk. ** ''Frescarelli'', an Italian dish made of overcooked rice and white flour, typical of . ** ''Orez în lapte'' (Romania), a dessert made with rice boiled in milk with sugar, sometimes flavored with cinnamon, jam, cocoa powder, etc. ** Tejberizs (Hungary), made with milk


* porridge: ** Mabela, a sorghum porridge eaten typically for breakfast in and Zimbabwe. Maltabella is a brand name for a sorghum porridge manufactured by ** Tolegi, a sorghum porridge eaten as a midday meal during the summer in . ** Tuwo or ogi, a n sorghum porridge that may also be made from maize.


* porridge: ** , a brand of American wheat porridge, boiled in milk or water with sugar or salt; also called or "hot cereal" (a term also applied to oat porridge). ** Dalia, a simple porridge made out of cracked wheat, is a common breakfast in northern India and Pakistan. It is cooked in milk or water and eaten with salt or sugar added. ** , a boiled wheat porridge eaten in times, sometimes with fruit or meat added. ** ' (Romania), dessert made with boiled in milk with sugar added, sometimes flavored with jam, raisins, dried fruit, cinnamon powder, etc. ** Tejbegríz (Hungary), dessert cooked with milk, usually with sugar and topped with cocoa or cinnamon powder, etc. ** – a brand of American wheat porridge ** ''Mannapuuro'', a traditional Finnish dessert made with . ** , eaten in Czech Republic and Slovakia, is made of milk, semolina and sugar. ** porridge, a Norwegian porridge of wheat flour in cooked sour cream with a very smooth and slightly runny texture. It is served with sugar, , cured meats or even s depending on local custom. ** , a fried semolina porridge traditional in southern India, flavored with , fried s, toasted s and and often mixed with vegetables and other foods, such as potatoes, fried dried red chilis, fried and toasted s or nuts. ** Velvet porridge or butter porridge, a Norwegian dish: a generous amount of white is made from wheat flour and butter, adding milk until it can be served as a thick porridge. ** , a brand name for a whole-wheat porridge. ** ''Ýarma'', a Turkmen wheat groat porridge. ** , a of boiled, cracked or coarsely-ground and or . Its consistency varies between a porridge and a . Harees is a popular dish in the Persian Gulf countries, Armenia and Pakistan.


* , made of a specially roasted flour (''Musmehl''). Particularly prominent in the and in the . * porridge, often served as part of a mixture with wheat and rye meal. and are common brands in Canada. * , a widely consumed groats/porridge range of dishes, utilising a variety of grains, widespread in and Russia. ** English speakers frequently reserve the term "" for porridge, made of buckwheat in butter, as eaten by many people in Russia and Ukraine, with yoghurt more common in the Caucasus. *** ''Terci de hrișcă'', porridge from Romania. * Mixed grain and in Ethiopia: ** Genfo is a thick porridge made by lightly roasting, milling and cooking any combination of Ethiopian oats, wheat, barley, sorghum, millet, maize, s, s, s, or bulla, the starch from the root of the tree; it is traditionally eaten for breakfast with a dollop of clarified, spiced butter (kibe) or oil and chili-spice mix , or with yoghurt. For those who can afford it, it is a popular holiday or Sunday breakfast dish and is often given to pregnant women and women after birthing to bring them back to health and strength. ** Atmit, Muk or Adja is a thinner version of Genfo porridge for drinking, mixed often with spiced, clarified butter, milk and honey, or on its own with a pinch of salt. It is popular in the rainy season and for nursing the sick back to health. ** Besso, made of roasted and ground barley is a popular snack for travellers and, in olden times, foot soldiers. The powder is either mixed with a bit of water, salt and chili powder to make a thick bread-like snack or mixed with more water or milk and honey for drinking. The and other southern tribes in Ethiopia ferment the Besso for a few days with water and a bit of sugar, add a pinch of salt and chili and drink it as a fortifying and energising meal-in-a-drink. * Multigrain Porridge ** This consists of roasted rice, wheat, roasted gram, jowar, maize, millet, groundnut, cashewnut, corn, barley and ragi and is prepared by roasting all the ingredients individually in a pan without using any ghee or oil, then grinding them together into a coarse powder. ** This porridge is described as being rich in protein and good for children. * or porridge, made from dried s, is a traditional English and Scottish porridge. * porridge, eaten in Norway, is a thick, almost solid paste made from cooked potatoes mixed with milk and barley. ** ("pearl porridge") is a porridge made from grains of swelled in milk into ca. five-mm "pearls", traditionally found in Russia and Finland. * porridge. * porridge: ** Rugmelsgrød, a traditional dinner of the Danish island , made of ryemeal and water. ** Ruispuuro, a traditional Finnish breakfast. * porridge. * is a toasted grain flour, usually barley, eaten in Tibet, often mixed with and butter. * porridge/pottage ** In Nigeria the words porridge and are synonymous, and it is consumed as a main meal. Nigerian yam porridge/pottage includes tomatoes and other culinary vegetables along with the yam. It may also have fish or other meat.


Northern Europe

Historically, porridge was a in much of Northern Europe and Russia. It was often made from , though other grains and yellow peas could be used, depending on local conditions. It was primarily a savoury dish, with meats, root crops, vegetables and herbs added for flavor. Porridge could be cooked in a large metal over hot coals or heated in a cheaper container by adding hot stones until boiling hot. Until bread and baking ovens became commonplace in Europe, porridge was a typical means of preparing cereal crops for the table. Porridge was also commonly used as for inmates in the British prison system during the 19th century and early 20th century, and so "doing porridge" became a slang term for a sentence in prison.

See also

* , from the Arabian cuisine * * , a traditional Dutch porridge-like dessert * * , the last traditionally stone-ground oatmeal in Ireland * , large multinational manufacturer, suppliers of Quaker Oats, , etc. * , a British brand of instant shredded oat cereal * , a Scottish brand producing porridge sold nationally in the . * , a Scottish brand comprising porridge bars, organic porridge, oats, health food and oat bars. * * *


External links

* {{Authority control Oat-based dishes