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Oatmeal is a product made by processing oats.

Oatmeal means any crushed oats, rolled oats, or cut oats used in recipes such as oatmeal cookies. The porridge made from this is also called oatmeal. This is a popular breakfast dish.

In Scotland, oatmeal is created by grinding oats into a coarse powder. Various grades are available depending on the thoroughness of the grinding, including Coarse, Pin(head) and Fine oatmeal. The main uses are: as an ingredient in baking; in the manufacture of bannocks or oatcakes; as a stuffing for poultry; as the main ingredient of the Scottish dish, skirlie, or its chip-shop counterpart, the mealy pudding. Occasionally it may be boiled as porridge or gruel. However rolled oats or crushed oats are normally used for this purpose nowadays, since they generally cost less.

Oatmeal is also used in some alcoholic drinks, cosmetics and external medical treatments.

Oatmeal has a long history in Scottish society because oats are better suited to the short, wet growing season in Scotland than wheat is. Hence they became the staple grain of that country.

Samuel Johnson referred, disparagingly, to this in his dictionary definition for oats:

A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.

To which his biographer, James Boswell is said to have retorted
Which is why England is known for its horses and Scotland for its men.

External links

Recipes for porridge and other oatmeal dishes