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Jul 28, 2009 03:14 PM

Foodies:What is oatmeal (hot) supposed to taste like?

Everytime I've had oatmeal (maybe 5 times in 28 years of life) I can't stand it. It's bland, slimey and pastey. My roomie wants me to make it for her but I can't bring myself to taste it. The one time I made it for her, I added peanut butter and brown sugar to make it taste like something. I don't think she liked it even though she LOVES pb. Anyway, what should it be like? And are there any restaurants/cafes that have some decent oatmeal that I can taste? Thanks oatmeal experts!

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  1. I'll leave it to others to describe what oatmeal 'should' taste like but the only oatmeal that I like at home is called John McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal which comes in a steel can. It does take about 30 min. to cook but the taste and texture are worth it! For a creamier taste you can sub milk for some of the water but you need a heavy, high quality pan and careful stirring in order to avoid scorching.

    As far as restaurants go, John O'Groats has good oatmeal for your friend although I usually have one of their pancakes.

    John O'Groats
    10516 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    1 Reply
    1. re: sel

      I agree. You mention steel cut oats having a better texture and tthat is the magic difference . Alton Brown describes steel cut oats as porridge and rolled oats as being “mush” which is actually cornmeal but the use of those words work to establish a hierarchy in quality and texture. The OP said slimy and pasty and may be refering to rolled oats. The flavor is Oat not too unlike Cheerios in flavor. John O'Groats is a good start. They have been mentioned here often for the steel cut oats they serve. I mentioned Oats once and got some help here..


      So many ways to cook steel cut oats. I use Alton Brown's recipe but that is a discussion for Home Cooking

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Most oatmeal is made from rolled oats. And a lot of it is made from quick-cooking rolled oats. Flavor and texture are going to leave a lot to be desired. The best way to taste what really good oatmeal should be like is to make it yourself.

        First, get some steel-cut oats. McCanns is one option, Trader Joe's carries a house-branded version, and there are plenty of others. But make sure the package says "steel-cut." If you see the words "instant" or "quick" or "rolled," keep shopping.

        Next, toast the oats before cooking them. Put 'em in the pot over medium heat and stir constantly until they're slightly browned and give off a nutty aroma. Then add liquid and cook according to the package instructions. It'll take half an hour or so. Don't let it burn.

        Be sure to add salt. If you don't, they will be sorely lacking in flavor.

        Serve with your choice of accompaniments. Butter is always good, along with something sweet - maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, whatever. A little cinnamon if you want. If you don't care for pasty texture, avoid pasty ingredients. Like peanut butter.

        Oats don't get much better than this. Of course, that doesn't mean you'll like them. But at least you'll know that you dislike oatmeal, instead of just disliking bad oatmeal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alanbarnes

          A great and perfect assessment.

          I, like the OP, did not care for oatmeal throughout the greater portion of my life so far. Tried it 5 or 6 time in my first 35 years and just didn't get it, and didn't like it.

          Then...something just suddenly switched.

          I tried it again one day. And it was good. And that was without pursuing the bowl of perfection. I just ate it and got it.

          NB: To keep it on topic, I like Urth Cafe's alright. And shoot me if you want, but Starbucks' ain't half bad for instant.

          I've been eating oatmeal most mornings now for the last several years. Since then I've had what was supposed to be excellent oatmeal in restaurants, and made the good steel cut stuff from scratch at home, but more often than not I just eat instant now and I barely notice the difference.

          Why the sudden conversion? All I can imagine is that, like many foods we dislike when we're younger, our taste buds die off with age (and alcohol, and coffee...) and things we didn't care for all those years suddenly don't taste half bad.

          Like oatmeal.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Folks-

            Please help us keep the focus of this board on where to find oatmeal in the L.A. area, please take any discussion about oatmeal in general or how to cook or serve it to the General Topics and Home Cooking boards. Please use this thread to suggest restaurants or stores where cynbarret can find great oatmeal.