Boring, grey and cheap? Definitely not, oatmeal is hip.
The trend to serve oatmeal at places as varied as fast food chains and three-star restaurants, has come to Sweden. Now the first ever oatmeal café has opened in Blekinge. Boring, grey and cheap? Definitely not, oatmeal is hip. Take the British sandwich chain of restaurants, Pret A Manger, for instance. They sell around 50,000 portions of oatmeal a week. Add to that the first-ever oatmeal bar, “Grød,” which opened last fall in Copenhagen. Swedish oatmeal giant Axa ordered a study, which shows that 50 percent of all Swedes are positive about ordering oatmeal at a restaurant. And there’s some great oatmeal available at restaurants like Magnus Nilsson's Fäviken Magasinet, which serves oatmeal made from local grains with steamed onions and fermented carrots. The neighborhood joint Nybrogatan 38 in Stockholm, offers oatmeal with a pat of butter and apple compote on their breakfast menu.
“We like oatmeal ourselves, and it is a great way to start the day,” says chef Victor Söderberg. “Besides, more people eat breakfast out and they want to eat what they’d eat at home. I can imagine having different sorts of oatmeal on the menu eventually.”
And then there’s Sweden’s first oatmeal café, Björklyckans grötkafé, situated in Nävragöl, Blekinge and owned by Pia Redin. Redin won the Nordic Oatmeal Cooking Competition back in 2010, and is preparing for the World Championship in Oatmeal Cooking, which is held in Scotland in October.
“Many people want to eat cleaner food, and oatmeal is not something you fool around with,” she says. “There are ecological alternatives to most of the ingredients needed, the dish tastes good, and is nutritious.” Redin arranges oatmeal tasting for people, and the favorite is Mästargröten (the Master’s Oatmeal).
“Everyone likes testing different kinds of oatmeal, and there’s always a great atmosphere,” Redin says. But why this oatmeal frenzy now? Ingela Stenson, trend analyst at United Minds, believes the explanation lies among the dark economical clouds looming on the horizon. In times of worry, we long for what’s genuine and real.
“The era of the oatmeal began with the fiber trend,” Stenson says. “Today many want to make their own oatmeal and eat it with homemade jam, or berries they’ve picked themselves. Oatmeal is also healthy and easy to make, and simplicity is another trend. We have maximal freedom of choice in so many situations, and we miss what’s simple.”
Pia Redin’s Mästargröt
3 Tablespoons skrädmjöl (skrädmjöl is a wholemeal flour made of roasted oats).
¾ cup water
½ cup oatmeal
½ teaspoon cardamom
1 Tablespoon honey
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a pot and stir. Bring to a boil and let the oatmeal simmer for five to 10 minutes on low heat. Serve with blueberry jam.
More on Pia Redin and her 2010 winning oatmeal recipe:
|[Pia’s oatmeal best in the North (2010)]
Björklyckans Grötcafé online