World Porridge Making Championships 2018 Results
Two Swedes jointly crowned World Porridge Making Champions and awarded the Golden Spurtle
World Porridge Making Championships, 6th October 2018, Carrbridge, Highlands
For the first time in its 25 year history The World Porridge Making Championships awarded the coveted Golden Spurtle trophy to two competitors, Calle Myrsell and Per Carlsson. The joint victors, who both hail from Sweden, were awarded the prestigious award at the annual event which took place today in Carrbridge.
The coveted title is awarded to the contestant deemed to have made the best traditional porridge using just three ingredients – oatmeal, water and salt. Per, who won the speciality porridge award last year and Calle a first time entrant both travelled to Scotland to take part in the competition and believe the secret to their joint success is their Swedish oats. They both use organic oats which have been produced by Saltå Kvarn in Sweden since 1964.
Following the announcement, Per Carlsson, who also hosts the Swedish Porridge Making Championships in Steninge said:
“After I won the speciality porridge category last year I have thought about winning the Golden Spurtle every day, so I am absolutely delighted. Great porridge needs three key things; love, patience and great ingredients.”
For novice entrant Calle, who was also visiting Scotland for the first time it was a big experience.
“Everyone here at the competition has been so friendly and welcoming. I am totally surprised to win on my first time. I came here on my own but everyone back home is thrilled for me, I have never had so many Facebook comments! For the perfect porridge I like to cook for a long time, nearly 25 minutes and only adding the salt in at the end. I like a smooth consistency so it doesn’t stick to the spoon or spurtle.”
As well as the traditional porridge competition, there is also a speciality category for oatmeal combined with any other ingredients, leading to a wide variety of sweet and savoury entries. This year’s winner in this category was announced as Chris Young from Perthshire. He won with his sensational oat inspired tapas featuring eight individual elements all prepared in the allotted half hour which included mussels stuffed with skirlie, Mexican green rice (made with pinhead oats) and steak with an oat gremolata. Other entries for speciality porridge this year included a porridge ice cream; 6 Spice Chocolate Chili Porridge; Oat and Brandy Pancake topped with Creamy Mushroom & Spinach; Savoury Porridge Muffins; Spiced Bramble Porridge; Corn & Blueberry Salad with Feta & oats and an Oat & Barley Broth with Honey Soy Salmon.
The winner of the first ever junior heat was 26 year old, Lynn Munro who prepared the traditional porridge as well as her speciality entry “Forage for your porridge” and featured Heather honey, hazelnuts, blueberries, brambles, oatmeal, water, wood sorrel, plums, apples, quince, rosehip and hawthorn, some of which was foraged in Carrbridge this morning.
Michelle Green, the organiser of the event said:
“This year’s championships were spectacular and a fitting way to mark our celebration of this wonderful but humble dish. It is the first time we have had joint winners as the judges just couldn’t pick one over the other. Both Per and Calle can feel very proud to have succeeded in the face of stern competition from across the world. It’s certainly been a closely fought battle! I hope that the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships will continue to inspire people worldwide to enjoy porridge.”
In front of an audience of hundreds, 30 competitors from around the world took part in the event in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park including those from UK, Finland, Canada, Germany, USA, Estonia, Russia, Australia and beyond. For the first time, there was also a junior heat to celebrate the Year of Young People with contestants as young as 11 taking part. This year also saw the organisers of the event receive such a high volume of entries that a shortlist had to be created to whittle down the number of entrants for the first time in the competition’s 25-year history.
The World Porridge Making Championships is organised by Carrbridge Community Council, and is sponsored by Hamlyns of Scotland, the Banffshire-based producer of Hamlyns Scottish Oatmeal and Hamlyns Scottish Porridge Oats.
Hamlyns Managing Director, Alan Meikle, said:
“Hamlyns of Scotland is proud to have sponsored the World Porridge Making Championships since the very beginning, and it’s fantastic to see how the event has grown over 25 years to become a real highlight of Scotland’s food and drink calendar. It’s been a wonderful day celebrating one of Scotland’s most traditional foods, and we’ve been amazed to see the huge variety of speciality dishes. Congratulations to all of the winners and to the organisers on another excellent event.”
One of the most popular events in Scotland’s culinary calendar, the competition took place in the Highland village of Carrbridge and included an opening pipe band procession, a food fair, whisky tastings and cookery demonstrations. A new recipe book, Spurtle Specialities, was created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the championships.
The judges of the competition included Anne Hilditch, wife of Duncan Hilditch one of the original founders of the competition, Colin Bussey, former head chef at Gleneagles, Lydie Bocquillon, classically taught French chef and owner of the Auld Alliance in Kingussie, and Neil Mugg, chef lecturer at Perth College UHI and former Head Pastry Chef at Glengeagles. MFR radio presenter, Richard Jones, acted as MC at this year’s event.
The village of Carrbridge, situated below the Monadhliath Mountains, is part of the scenic Cairngorms National Park. Famous for its 18th century packhorse bridge, the river Dulnain snakes its way through this picturesque village before emptying into the River Spey.
Full details of the event are available at www.goldenspurtle.com.
*The spurtle is a wooden Scottish kitchen tool, dating from the fifteenth century, which is used to stir porridge, soups, stews and broths.
For media information and images, please contact Jessica Sneddon – [email protected] / +44 (0)7815 793 207
Notes to Editors
Year of Young People
- A global first, YoYP 2018 is a part of the Scottish Government’s themed-year programme that focuses on celebrating Scotland’s greatest assets.
- A year-long programme of events and festivals are taking place across the whole of the country for all ages to enjoy, led by EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. More information at visitscotland.com/yoyp2018
- EventScotland is working with the events and festivals sector to develop an exciting portfolio of Year of Young People 2018 public-facing events which provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through a wide range of activity.
- Local authorities, schools, youth groups and organisations are running their own YoYP 2018 activity. Search #YOYP2018 on Twitter for the latest news. Young people co-designed the Year. A group of young leaders, Communic18, lead on all key decision making. More than 500 Ambassadors based across every local authority are championing activity.
- The Year is delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and EventScotland – part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children in Scotland, YouthLink Scotland and Creative Scotland.
- More information can be found at scot, searching @YOYP2018 #YOYP2018 on Twitter or by emailing [email protected]