The Scots' consumption of oats is legendary. Oatmeal was often called meat and porridge is meal thickened in a pot of boiling water. Porridge even has different names - potage, parritch, parridge, porritch, or in Gaelic, brochan. Gruel, brose and sowans were also made by mixing oatmeal and water, as were some regional variations with strange sounding names like blerie, bluthrie, gogar, lewlands, milgruel, willins and others. Porridge is found in the cuisine of almost every country but the Scots have pulled off a remarkable trick by getting the rest of world to recognise oatmeal porridge as the one true porridge, and to regard it as uniquely Scottish.
Guthrie Hutton worked as a set designer for BBC Scotland. In recent years he has written numerous successful books and is a freelance author and writer. His subject matter ranges from local histories to the history of mining. He is the author of a book on the Forth and Clyde canal.